“Enough comparisons with Nadal, I’m not his heir” – Corriere.it

Of Gaia Piccardi

At the age of 18, the Spaniard is a candidate to become the new phenomenon after his victory in Miami. And on Sinner: “he’s strong and it doesn’t matter to have beaten him, even Berrettini is very good”

Grandfather’s motto as a comet (“Always follow the three Cs: cabeza, corazon, cojones”), fraternal affection per coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, embraced at the end of the final with Ruud with tears in his eyes, the delicate point made Hurkacz replay in the semifinals with great fairplay. King of Miami at 18 years and 333 days, new number 11 in the world rankings in place of Jannik Sinner, the hagiography of Carlos Alcaraz is enriched every day. And the best part is, it’s just the beginning.

Carlos, what if he hadn’t been a tennis player?

“Ah, who knows. I played five-a-side football until I was ten, but from there being a footballer passes away. Today I support Real Madrid ».

Like Nadal. Do the constant comparisons bother you?

“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 ».

Having a training ship of that size in front also has its advantages.

«I recognize it, just as I don’t deny that Rafa’s advice and compliments are always a pleasure. But I’m from Murcia, he’s from Mallorca, he’s left-handed and I’m not, as a child I was anything but a warrior: I was skinny, small, not very powerful. The opposite of Nadal…? ».

When did it transform?

«The entrance to the Villena academy of Juan Carlos Ferrero, who later became my coach, changed my life. There I evolved: I gained muscles, I grew up, I became tougher on the pitch ».

Why did you go from Murcia to Villena?

«Because I wanted to train with Ferrero. When he won Roland Garros in 2003, I was just born. I recovered it on YouTube ».

Do you think having a former # 1 coach is an advantage over Jannik Sinner?

«Well, being followed by a former professional who has done things at a high level before me is a point in my favor: Juanki gives me advice that those who have not been there cannot give».

How do you see your rivalry with Sinner in perspective?

“Jannik is strong. He is a top 10, he has won 5 titles, it is not so significant that I beat him (at the Master 1000 in Paris, last year) nor that he overtook him in the standings. Each match has its own story. I dreamed of finding myself in his position, after Miami I’m even in front of him. Berrettini is also very strong, from whom I lost in Melbourne. Here, compared to Jannik, Matteo’s service is a bomb ».

What do you do when you are not playing tennis?

«I like golf, padel, football with friends, I love staying at home doing nothing. Oh my God, nothing: with three brothers, who are also tennis players, being with our hands is hard! ».

What dreams do you cherish?

“I was in Tokyo, I liked the Olympics a lot: I would like to win a gold for Spain one day”.

Like Rafa in Beijing 2008.

«Yes, but then I wouldn’t be satisfied with gold … Like everyone else I dream of winning the big tournaments, the Davis Cup, and becoming number 1».

Always like Rafa.

«I have to improve a lot, my head, above all. A mental coach, a girl follows me at the academy: she helps me a lot ».

Do you remember the first meeting with Nadal?

«In Barcelona, ​​in 2018. We went out on the pitch to dribble, it meant a lot to me: I was a kid, my arm trembled at first. Playing together in Davis (Covid stopped me last year) would be fantastic. However, I repeat: I do not imitate anyone, everyone has his story and I am trying to understand which is mine “.

April 5, 2022 (change April 5, 2022 | 07:19)

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