Rafael Nadal once in a species as Carlos Alcaraz comparisons slammed as ridiculous

Rafael Nadal announces end to 2021 season through injury

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Mark Petchey has slammed comparisons between Rafael Nadal and rising star Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old has had a breakout season, beating the likes of Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas en-route to the US Open quarter-final, and reaching the world’s top 35. He was leading 5-0 in the second set of his Paris Masters clash with home hero Hugo Gaston when the Frenchman came back to beat him 6-4 7-5.

Alcaraz has been one of the breakout stars of the season, winning his first title in Umag this summer before going on a tear at the US Open to make his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final, beating third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on the way.

He also beat Dan Evans, Andy Murray and third seed Matteo Berrettini to make the semi-finals at last week’s ATP 500 in Vienna, and beat eighth seed and fellow young star Jannik Sinner at the Paris Masters on Wednesday.

The teenager has often drawn comparisons with another Spaniard – Rafael Nadal.

Alcaraz has also already managed to achieve feats that only Nadal had completed by his age, including how long it took them to record three top ten wins.

JUST IN: ATP chief confirms tennis ‘working on’ own version of Netflix show

The hard-hitting Spaniard is a hard-hitter, with a lot of power already at just 18-years-old, something Andy Murray thinks will make Alcaraz a future world No 1.

However, one renowned tennis pundit and coach has now spoken out, slamming the comparisons between Alcaraz and Nadal.

Mark Petchey, who previously coached the likes of Andy Murray and Maria Sakkari, blamed the 18-year-old’s tough loss to Gaston on the pressure of being compared to the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

“So I see @alcarazcarlos03 already suffering from the comparison to @RafaelNadal,” the British pundit tweeted.

DON’T MISS
Novak Djokovic sent defiant message from Paris Masters opponent
Murray tipped to make retirement decision after make-or-break season
Australian Open urged to make Novak Djokovic exception amid ban threat

“A once in a species (not even a generation) talent like Rafa and the next next great player Spain gets compared as to whether he is going to be as great as Rafa. What an absolute joke and lazy take”.

Alcaraz came into a heavily-anticipated match against the 20-year-old qualifier as the favourite – a position he has rarely been in so far in his young career.

The world No 35 led by a break at 4-2 in the first set, before the local hero was able to reel off four games in a row and clinch the opened 6-4 in front of a raucous French crowd.

Gaston then pulled off an even more impressive comeback in the second set, as Alcaraz led by 5-0, looking to have turned the match around in his favour.

The world No 103, who was given a wildcard into the qualifying event into the Paris Masters and made it through to the main draw, continued his fairytale run by winning the last seven games in a row, clinching a 6-4 7-5 victory over Alcaraz.

During his seven-game comeback, the Frenchman won 17 points in a row, and 20 of the last 21 in the match to stun the teenage sensation.

After an upset loss for Alcaraz, Petchey pointed out that the 18-year-old would still become a successful player if he achieved even a fraction of the things Nadal had in his career.

“Let’s also put some realism on what he needs to do in his career,” the pundit said.

“If he achieves 20% of @RafaelNadal career accomplishments he will be in the @TennisHalloFame benchmarking him to Rafa is completely ridiculous”.
Source: Read Full Article