Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal are in a battle for the world No. 1 spot and 19-year-old Alcaraz has insisted that his compatriot is “not an enemy”.

Alcaraz became the youngest player to top the world rankings earlier this year when he took top spot at the age of 19 years, four months and six days, and also became the first teenager to achieve the feat in the Open era.
Fellow Spaniard and 22-time Grand Slam winner Nadal is breathing down the neck of the teenager in second, but Alcaraz insists there is no feeling of rivalry between them, and he doesn’t think of the 36-year-old as an “enemy”.

“I don’t see it that way,” Alcaraz explained when asked if he’s in a fight with Nadal for the No. 1 spot. “It’s true, Rafa is fighting for the No. 1. Some players have the same goal – to be No. 1, so I need to do my best…outside the court we [Rafa and I] are colleagues, at least it’s the way I see it.
“Rafa is not my enemy. I say hello, I don’t see that competition. With the rest of the players, it’s the same. Beyond that relationship I’ll try to keep being No. 1.”
On becoming No. 1, Alcaraz explained the achievement as a “dream come true”.

“It is an incredible feeling, waking up as No. 1, the US Open winner. It’s a dream come true,” he said.
“I am enjoying this moment so far. I keep working, my life is still the same, I’m still the same kid, same player. Just keep practising, keep improving.”
Alcaraz suffered an injury scare in the build-up to the Paris Masters and was forced into making a last-minute decision on whether he would participate or not.

He felt pain in his knee during the Swiss Indoors semi-final loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Basel, which cast his opening match into doubt.

Fortunately for the teenager, after undergoing medical tests, he has been given the green light to take on Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday after receiving a bye into the second round.
“It’s a little pain, but the calendar is very demanding. We are playing and travelling with barely any breaks and it’s normal that we have a few pains.
“All players have them and we learn how to deal with them. I am feeling good physically and I am ready to play here in Paris and in Turin in the finals.”

Alcaraz was eliminated in the third round of the Paris Masters last year when he was beaten by France’s Hugo Gaston.

The teenager described the loss as a “rough moment”, but said he is not out for revenge at this year’s tournament.
“Yes, it was a rough moment, but I am not playing this tournament to get any revenge.
“It was a difficult moment and helped me to learn how to deal with this. The players are alone on the court, and we must know how to deal with certain situations.
“I come here to keep enjoying this tournament and not get revenge,” he insisted.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button