Home Tennis

“Rafael Nadal doesn’t give me advice, I talk to him like a friend, that’s all!” says Carlos Alcaraz

The 18-year-old who made headlines by defeating world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas, talks about his relationship with fellow countryman Rafael Nadal.

Carlos Alcaraz vs Rafael Nadal

Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz cleared the air about his relationship with Rafael Nadal. The teenager, who is currently playing in the Vienna Open, spoke to the media after his victory over Scotsman Andy Murray.

Often labelled as Nadal’s successor, Alcaraz was quoted saying to the media “I met Rafa some time ago. I talk to him but not too much tennis. It is clear that he congratulates me when I win but he does not give me advice on my tennis. I just talk to him like we’re friends.”

Owing to their nationality and shared prodigious talent displayed at a very young age, Carlos has often been dubbed as Nadal’s heir. However, the 38 ranked Alcaraz wants to carve out his own identity, instead of being a shadow of his illustrious compatriot.

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia: Year at glance

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia

In January this year, at the age of 17, Carlos Alcaraz qualified for the Australian Open, where he was the youngest participant in the men’s singles. He defeated fellow qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets, before losing in the second round to Mikael Ymer.

At the Madrid Open, he became the youngest person ever to win a match by defeating Adrian Mannarino; in the process, breaking Rafael Nadal’s record. In the French Open, he managed to reach the third round. He reached the second round at Wimbledon, before losing to Daniil Medvedev.

The biggest victory of his career came at the US Open, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in a stunning 5-set tiebreak match. In one of the biggest upsets of the year, Alcaraz upset the current world number 3 6-3 4-6 7-6 0-6 7-6.

He also defeated German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk to enter the quarter-finals, thereby becoming the youngest US Open quarter-finalist in the Open Era.

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia and Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz

The elder Spaniard has been known to heap praises on the younger man. Their first on-court encounter came this year in the second round of the Madrid Open, where Nadal won in a comfortable 6-1 6-2 win.

Also read: WATCH: Andy Murray admits of being ‘very jealous’ of Emma Raducanu