Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz were the two main protagonists of this exciting start to the season. The Manacor phenomenon returned to the field after the problem in his left foot and won the tournaments in Melbourne and Acapulco and, above all, the Australian Open.
The success achieved in the first Grand Slam of the year allowed him to reach 21 Majors and overtake Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in this special ranking. The stress fracture in his ribs then prevented Nadal from competing to his full potential at Indian Wells.
The Majorcan is expected to return to the field in Madrid to prepare for the attack on the 22nd Grand Slam in Paris. Alcaraz, for his part, became the youngest player in history to win an ATP 500 tournament in Rio de Janeiro and the third to lift the trophy of a Masters 1000 in Miami.
The 18-year-old from Murcia is growing game after game and is now only 29 points from the top ten that already belongs to him. Alcaraz has often been compared to Rafael Nadal for his mentality and attitude on the pitch. In Spain he is considered to all intents and purposes the worthy heir of Nadal, but this does not seem to affect him.
“On social media, for a couple of years, it’s all a comparison. I try not to get too distracted: I think about myself, about my tennis, about my improvements”, said Alcaraz in an exclusive interview with Corriere della Sera.
Jaume Munar opens up on Nadal
Jaume Munar recently shed light on how Rafael Nadal has been a great source of help and inspiration for him and other aspiring players at his structure in Manacor. “Today I already have my training patterns because I have more experience than a few years ago,” Munar began.
“But he helped me a lot, and I will always remember, when I arrived at the structure, seeing the way he trained and the desire and intensity with which he did it. He is an inspiration to me and to all children. If there is someone who has had a direct impact on my career, it is him.”
The 24-year-old answered in the affirmative before delving deeper into the things that drive the Mallorcan on a daily basis. “Yes, it surprises me, but less than many people because I have been lucky enough to know Rafa from within, I know what his ambitions are and I know that he likes his day-to-day life and that he likes tennis,” Munar explained.
“He plays because he loves it and of course he also competes for records, obviously. He enjoys what he does, that’s why he maintains the illusion of 18 years ago.”