Alcaraz wants to 'build own history', not 'take over' from Nadal

By Sports Desk April 24, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz wishes to build his "own history" rather than "take over" from fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, having won the ninth title of his career at last week's Barcelona Open.

Alcaraz defended his crown in Catalonia by racing to a 6-3 6-4 win against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's final, claiming his third title of the 2023 season. 

Like his legendary compatriot Nadal, Alcaraz won his first grand slam title at the age of 19, triumphing at the US Open last year.

His hopes of adding to that success at the upcoming French Open could be boosted by the misfortune of his rivals, with both Nadal and Novak Djokovic forced to withdraw from this week's Madrid Open as they battle injuries.

While comparisons between Alcaraz and Nadal are perhaps inevitable, the teenager is determined to do things his own way.

"As I've said on more than one occasion, I don't want to take over from anyone," he said after claiming his latest title. 

"I feel lucky to have so many people supporting me, transmitting that positive energy from the first game.

"Speaking of this week, it's been two years that Rafa hasn't been there [in Barcelona]. I've been lucky! But as I've always said, I've always wanted to play against the best.

"It is a pity that we have not been able to enjoy Rafa these last two years. Let's hope he continues playing for a long time and we can enjoy his tennis, but obviously we're not here to take over from anyone, but to build our own history."

With Nadal and Djokovic absent, Alcaraz will be the top seed as he looks to add a 10th career title in Madrid, but he does not see winning in the Spanish capital as the only measure of a successful campaign. 

"Not winning Madrid would not be a failure for me, it depends on the level I have shown and the matches," he said.

"All the players are very good, they can all win the title and they can beat me. For me, failure would depend on the level I show and the way I play."

Related items

  • Zverev breezes past De Jong into Hamburg Open second round Zverev breezes past De Jong into Hamburg Open second round

    Alexander Zverev cruised into the second round of the Hamburg Open with a comfortable straight-sets victory over Jesper de Jong.

    The top seed took one step closer to defending his title with a 6-2 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

    De Jong took the opening game, but Zverev dominated after that, winning the next five in a row, before holding off the Dutchman's late fightback to take the first set.

    The second was a carbon copy of the first, as De Jong was broken twice and given no way back in as Zverev closed out the match to set up a meeting with Hugo Gaston in the next round. 

    Data Debrief: Defending champion starts strong

    After clinching the title on home soil last year, Zverev was always going to come out fighting in his defence.

    He hit 29 winners and twice went on five-game winning runs to take the match away from De Jong before he could get any real foothold. 

  • Ruud stunned as Monteiro advances to Swedish Open quarter-finals Ruud stunned as Monteiro advances to Swedish Open quarter-finals

    Thiago Monteiro pulled off a shock in the second round of the Swedish Open, beating Casper Ruud in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals.

    The Brazilian took just an hour and a half to see off the second seed 6-3 6-3 in Bastad on Wednesday.

    Ruud successfully defended two break points in the opening game but could not gain the upper hand as Monteiro charged forwards, getting two breaks to take the set.

    Monteiro continued to dominate in the second, though he only needed one break this time, and comfortably held off the Norwegian in the final game to make it into the next round, where he will face either Pavel Kotov or Duje Ajdukovic.

    Data Debrief: Monteiro comes out on top

    Monteiro did not give Ruud any sort of opening, winning all of his service games, and 75% of his service points (38/51).

    The number two seed did not win more than one game in a row, and he will be hoping to put this result behind him quickly ahead of his doubles quarter-final with Rafael Nadal later on.

  • Nadal downs Borg to advance to Swedish Open second round Nadal downs Borg to advance to Swedish Open second round

    Rafael Nadal is through to the second round of the Swedish Open after holding out for a straight-sets win over Leo Borg on Tuesday.

    In his singles return in Bastad, the Spaniard triumphed 6-3 6-4, to follow up his doubles win with Casper Ruud on Monday.

    Nadal raced into a 4-1 lead in the first set, and though Berg was able to peg him back to 5-3, the former world number one served to love in the final game to seal it.

    He got another vital break in the opening game of the second, which was enough to help him hold off the Swede's attempted fight back to book a place in the next round, where he will face Cam Norrie. 

    Data Debrief: Running back the clock

    Nadal last played in Bastad in 2005, winning the clay tournament as a 19-year-old.

    And he made a strong start to the tournament this time around; he won 41 of his 53 service points (77%), but got a vital break in either set to put him out of Borg's reach. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.