World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz said he is not the legendary Rafael Nadal‘s heir, claiming that he got the present title under his belt for the second consecutive time because he has been lucky as Nadal wasn’t there to compete against him.
Nadal has been out of action since his early exit at the 2023 Australian Open due to the hip injury he picked up there. He would then miss the Sunshine Double, Monte-Carlo Masters, and now the Madrid Masters. Owing to his missing these tournaments, for the first time in 18 years, he lost his position from the top 10.
“I don’t want to be anyone’s replacement,” said Alcaraz after successfully defending his Barcelona Open title by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the final, plus it was his fourth victory over the Greek in their head-to-head encounters. Also Read: Jannik Sinner’s Coach Says Federer, Nadal, And Djokovic Didn’t Think Of 20-Plus Grand Slams When They Had Zero
Carlos Alcaraz hopes to see Rafael Nadal play for a long time
Nadal missed the Barcelona Open for the second time in a row. And so did World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who chose to play in ATP 250 Banja Luka than in Barcelona. Djokovic is also struggling with elbow issues and like Nadal, he withdrew his name from Madrid Masters. This means Alcaraz will enter the tournament as the favorite to win the title. And if the injuries of Nadal and Djokovic do not heal in time, Alcaraz will be expected to add a French Open title alongside his maiden US Open trophy which he lifted last year.
“In the two years that Rafa hasn’t been here, I’ve been lucky or, let’s say, I’ve won the title,” said Alcaraz. “I’ve always wanted to play against the best, it’s a shame that we haven’t been able to enjoy Rafa these last two years,” added the World No. 2. Also Read: Carlos Alcaraz Vs Stefanos Tsitsipas Match Prediction, Head-To-Head, Preview, And Live Stream | Barcelona Open
“Let’s hope he continues to play for a long time and that we can enjoy his tennis, but obviously we are not here to take over from anyone but to build our own history,” Alcaraz further added. Nadal will turn 37 in June.
Since winning his French Open title in his maiden appearance in 2005, he boasts a surprising 112-3 win-loss record in the tournament, including record 14 trophies. Out of the three defeats, two came against Djokovic who is a two-time Roland Garros champion. Also Read: Andy Murray’s Daughter Doesn’t Want To Learn Tennis From His Father, Here’s Why
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