The road to Alcaraz

You have to be patient. It is not fair or convenient to put the label of the 'New Nadal'. Hopefully one day I will reach half of what Rafa has achieved. It would already be fabulous.

The-road-to-Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz looks at everything with respect. But without fear. One of those qualities that distinguish good athletes from those with star quality. If we measure him by the precociousness data on the circuit, he undoubtedly points to being a tennis player destined to fight for big titles. But in those same early victory rankings, alongside names like Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, there are also others like Richard Gasquet, who at 34 has his ceiling in three Grand Slam semifinals. Or Bernard Tomic, who looks like staying only in 'promise'. Not to mention the American Aaron Krickstein, the youngest to win an ATP tournament at the age of 16 and who we don't even remember.

That is, with Alcaraz you have to be patient. Although it is journalistically unavoidable to focus on it. And that the fan gets excited thinking that Rafa Nadal has a relay. But in Spain, women's tennis has taken decades to drop the backpack of comparisons with Arantxa and Conchita. They have been harmful. There is only Nadal and there will be one. His measuring stick should not be the one we use with the Murcian. Alcaraz follows his own path and now at the Australian Open, his first major, he will face the unknown frontier of five sets. The normal thing is that it does not go far. It will also be an apprenticeship. Let him trace his path. Let's get excited with him but let's put caution in the balance. It is not fair or convenient to put the label of the 'New Nadal'. Hopefully one day I will reach half of what Rafa has achieved. That would be fabulous.



Photos from as.com
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