On May 31, after dominating his opponents in the qualifying tournament, Carlos Alcaraz took his first win at Roland Garros. The young Spanish talent defeated his compatriot Bernabe Zapata Miralles in four hard-fought sets by playing a fantastic game and showing many of his strengths. Alcaraz’s first joy on earth in Paris came at the age of 18 years and 26 days; statistics that allowed him to do better than his idol Rafael Nadal. The Majorcan won his first match in Paris at 18 years and 11 months. It should be noted, however, that Nadal was unable to play the tournament due to injury in 2003 and 2004. Alcaraz is often compared to Nadal for his attitude on the pitch and for the determination that distinguishes each of his exchanges. In an exclusive interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, the 18-year-old from Murcia revealed: “It’s a comparison that makes me happy and proud. I just don’t want to be overwhelmed by the pressure, I continue straight on my path which is still long and full of work to do ” Alcaraz has the opportunity to train every day with one of the strongest Spanish tennis players in history. This is Juan Carlos Ferrero, former world number one, who has been following Carlos for several years. “He and I have a wonderful relationship, he taught me and teaches me a lot both on and off the pitch. Commitment and determination are his watchwords, but now he is also a good friend to talk to about everything.” During the last edition of the Australian Open, Nadal spoke directly about Alcaraz. The 20-time Grand Slam champion believes that the current number 32 of the ATP ranking can become a true champion.
Arias talks about Rafa Nadal
Former tennis player and analyst Jimmy Arias also spoke about Rafael Nadal’s chances at the French Open. According to Arias, the Spaniard is slowly beginning to show signs of weakness on the red clay in Paris. “I never conceded the French title to Nadal, like some others did,” he said. “I’ve often felt like Rafa is on the verge of being beatable, but then he’d get to Roland Garros and win. He proved me wrong every time a lot of times. But now he’s showing some wear in that armor.” The Spaniard eventually bowed out to Novak Djokovic in a thrilling four-set clash, which is widely considered one of the best matches of the season. The loss was just Nadal’s third in Paris, but it appeared to shatter his aura of invincibility and it remains to be seen if the Spaniard can regain it in the coming seasons.