Can Carlos Alcaraz follow the footsteps of the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal?
In this article, we draw certain similarities between the Gen Z, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia and his senior compatriot, 21 time Grand Slam Champion, Rafael Nadal.
Drawing comparisons with the G.O.A.T of tennis
At just 18 years 11 months and 20 days, Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest man to reach the Top 10 in the ATP Tour ranks.
Following his victory at the Barcelona Open, Carlos Alcaraz has reached a career-high rank of World No. 9.
Alcaraz becomes the only other player to achieve this feat since Rafael Nadal, who was also 18 years old when he reached his first ATP Top 10 in 2005 after winning the Barcelona Open.
Both the Spaniards, Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal have some similarities in their respective games physically and mentally.
Though the only major difference between these two players is that one is a left-handed player and the other a right-handed player, both have an aggressive and formidable game.
Patrick Mouratoglou, the former coach of Serena Williams, described Carlos Alcaraz as a modern version of Rafael Nadal. Talking about the young Spaniard, he says,
“He's a war machine, he's got all the shots, he's got no weaknesses, he's backed by a great team and he's super ambitious." - Patrick Mouratoglou
Patrick also believes that Alcaraz can win a Grand Slam this year.
Rafael Nadal vs Carlos Alcaraz: Playing Style
Carlos Alcaraz takes inspiration from his fellow compatriot and idol Rafael Nadal. Being aggressive from the start, defending each shot that’s against him.
Nadal’s game style is playing an aggressive baseline game, based on a lot of top-spin, agility, stamina and amazing court coverage.
As compared to his other fellow tennis competitors’, Nadal’s average top spin measured at 3,200 revolutions per minute.
Nadal has worked a lot on his serve since 2005, helping him consistently win on his first-serve points. Relying completely on the consistency of his serves for a strategic advantage point, rather than going the service winners, analysts over the years have praised his improvement on his serve.
Though Alcaraz will have to work on his serves, he shows a classic style of technique when playing while Nadal has a unique one-of-a-kind game.
Going back in time, we can see that Alcaraz is a more complete player than compared to 18-year-old Nadal.
Compared to Nadal’s game of style when he was young, Alcaraz takes all his shots early, which helps him to push his opponent further back on the court. Like Nadal, he has a heavy groundstroke.
With a total of 4 career singles titles, Carlos Alcaraz is following the footsteps of his fellow compatriot and is hot on the trail to winning his first Grand Slam. And it is the authors’ opinion that we will see a lot more of this young and upcoming Spaniard.