Rafael Nadal defeated Alcaraz 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the semi-final of the Indian Wells Masters

Rafael Nadal stretched his best-ever start to a season to 20-0 with a hard fought win against Carlos Alcaraz in the Indian Well Masters. Nadal has now made it to his fourth straight final of the season and is scheduled to face U.S.A star Taylor Fritz.

Amidst all the records and the win, the camaraderie between the two Spaniards is what hogged the limelight. Alcaraz considers Nadal his ‘idol’ and Nadal has nothing but immense respect for his younger compatriot.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Nadal heaped praises on the teenager. “I think he has all the shots. He can play very aggressive. He can play defensive because he’s super fast. He can defend amazing balls. Of course, when he’s playing aggressive, it’s difficult to stop him because the quality of his ball is very high”, explained Nadal.

The 21-time Grand Slam Champion further added, “I think he has all the ingredients to become an amazing Champion. I didn’t come to the match more nervous because I was playing a youngster. I treated it like I was playing against a top-eight player. In terms of level, that was my feeling.”

Is Carlos Alcaraz the worthy successor to Rafael Nadal?

Carlos Alcaraz is often compared to his idol Rafael Nadal. Left-handed, Spanish, strong on clay surfaces – too much in common isn’t it? Well, there is definitely something more to it. The potential, the talent and the precise execution, Alcaraz has it in abundance. When you watch Alcaraz play, you can definitely relate him to Nadal in the early stages of his career. Alcaraz has been considered the next big thing in tennis for quite sometime now. Is it finally time for Alcaraz to put his name for reckoning along with the big boys?

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz (ATP Tour)

Alcaraz won the Rio Open last month. The tournament was played on a clay surface, a good warm up event leading to the Roland Garos which is played on clay surface. Alcaraz became the youngest ever ATP 500 champion after defeating Diego Schwartzmann 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Alcaraz however would need to be careful about his fitness leading to the second Grand Slam of the year. The Spaniard withdrew from the next event, the Acapulco Open in Mexico owing to a niggle he suffered post the Rio Open. With a packed schedule, he would look to ensure he stays fit and on top of his game going into the French Open.

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