Alex Corretja has warned against making comparisons between Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal after the 18-year-old’s victory at the Barcelona Open.
Alcaraz moved up to ninth in the ATP rankings with a 6-3 6-2 win over Pablo Carreno to become the youngest man to break into the top ten since Nadal.
He said: “We all know that the comparison between Nadal and Alcaraz will exist. I think the most important thing for Carlos is just to stay away from that.
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“He just needs to keep on his own way. It is normal to compare situations and rankings and results because if you become top ten in the same day, after winning the same tournament, being Spanish, it's a big coincidence.
“It's like the Karma of life, and something big is going to happen. I'm sure that he will overcome our careers (Spanish Tennis legends), the ones that are not Rafa's.
“Rafa is another step, it's another dimension, it's something different. So, we leave that apart for the moment. But I'm 100% sure that he will become number one in the world, that he will win a slam and destroy all our records.”
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Alcaraz showed maturity beyond his years following his ATP Tour win in Barcelona, and his ability to work on the smallest details in a relentless pursuit of improvement has impressed Corretja.
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“When he's talking after the matches, you can see he has so much confidence and believes he can beat anybody in the world.
“It doesn't matter about the surface or the tournament. That's very important if you want to become one of the greatest. When he won that semi-final against (Alex) De Minaur, he was talking to (Juan Carlos) Ferrero, his coach, a lot about the match and those details to improve for the final.
“So, when you go out there and you're capable of playing the way he did, it's because you know that you are physically strong and the variation of your game hurts your opponents.
“At the moment, you don't really see any weaknesses in his game. He's moving well, he's hitting well, he has a serve that is good enough for clay. He can play drop shots, his backhand is working. and he also defends very well. So, at the moment I would say, how do you beat Alcaraz? It's difficult.”
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There have been more parallels drawn between the respective careers of Alcaraz and Nadal, with the latter winning the French Open after breaking into the top ten. The 18-year-old is therefore one to watch at Roland Garros next month.
“Hopefully Rafa can play and then he will raise his level. Novak (Djokovic) did unbelievably last week just to play, and did great to reach the final [of the Serbia Open].
“Of course, (Andrey) Rublev is on fire. (Stefanos) Tsitsipas will also be great. So, there are no doubts that I will put Alcaraz among those top five to win the title.
“It just needs a little bit of time, a little bit of patience to see how he plays during the next two weeks. And then I have no doubt that he's going to be super difficult to beat because he's going to be flying, and thinking that he can do it.”
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