Former world No. 7 Fernando Verdasco believes Carlos Alcaraz has a bright future but he has urged the Spaniards not to put pressure on the 18-year-old.
Alcaraz, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 32 in the world, is one of the most exciting prospects in a long time.
20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal won’t be playing at the Davis Cup Finals and Alcaraz is set to make his Davis Cup debut.
Alcaraz captured his maiden ATP title this past summer in Umag before winning it all in his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals.
“He is still an 18-year-old boy. We have a future with him, but we must not put pressure on him, we must let him progress. He is lucky to have Juan Carlos Ferrero by his side as a coach,” Verdasco said of Alcaraz ahead of the Davis Cup Finals, as quoted on Punto de Break.
Alcaraz compared to Nadal
Alcaraz is being compared to Nadal as some believe he could be the next Nadal.
“He absorbs it very well, without added pressure. Since everyone has started saying that he is the new player who could go right to the top, he has tried to stay in a small bubble. Above all, to try and stay on his own path. Carrying the burden of comparisons with a player like Rafa [Nadal] is difficult for such a young boy,” Ferrero told the ATP website.
“He is very mentally strong but he still has a lot to learn – we saw it last week [he was in tears against Hugo Gaston in the last 16 of the Rolex Paris Masters]. There are things that he is unable to control. The fact that they compare him with Rafa is difficult but we have always handled it well. Him best of all. He wants to do things his own way and so far, he really is coping very well. We haven’t noticed more or less pressure because of this.”