David Ferrer urged caution from drawing comparisons between Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal. The 19-year-old is enjoying his breakout season which has inevitably led to parallels being drawn between the young star and his legendary countryman.
Alcaraz has been the major new player on the world tennis stage this year having won the Miami and Madrid Masters in addition to other tournaments in Barcelona and Acapulco. His success has seen him rise to No 6 in the world rankings, ahead of Novak Djokovic, and he currently sits second in the race to Turin.
Now David Ferrer has spoken about Alcaraz’s rise and the comparisons to the 22-time grand slam champion. The now retired tennis star is perhaps better placed than anyone to offer advice about how to deal with others talking up Nadal having spent years in the 36-year-old’s shadow as Spanish No 2. He also won three Davis Cups alongside the legendary star.
The 40-year-old has described Nadal as a ‘big word’ as he urged Alcaraz to be cautious.
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“Alcaraz is a great player, and without a doubt he is going to be a much better tennis player than me, that is very clear to me, but Nadal is a big word,” Ferrer told Super Deporte. “Carlos has to make his career, but I’m sure he’s going to reach number one and win grand slams, because mentally he’s a very well-established player.”
There has been huge pressure on the world No 6 to perform given the high expectations that surround his career. Ferrer believes he is handling these demands well.
“I know his team very well, from his representative Albert and his coaching staff with Juan Carlos Ferrero at the helm, who has also had the experience of being world number one, and has very clear ideas,” the former world No 3 said.
Alcaraz is currently competing in the Hamburg masters where he has reached the semi finals after demolishing Karen Khachanov 6-0 6-2 in the quarters.
“I played unbelievable today, probably one of my best matches this year,” Alcaraz said after the victory. “I’m pretty happy with the performance that I’m playing in this tournament. Yesterday was amazing as well.
“I’m training every day to be solid and at the same time to be aggressive,” he added. “That is my game.”
While it is unlikely the comparisons to Nadal will end anytime soon, they do not appear to be affecting Alcaraz who continues to rapidly improve.