Carlos Alcaraz says he does feel a little pressure about being compared to Rafael Nadal, but he does not allow it to bother him.
Alcaraz is just 19-years-old and has already climbed to world number four after an incredible breakthrough season.
Ever since he was 15, though, he has had the moniker ‘the next Rafael Nadal,’ and says he now finds it a little unfair as it implies he is still just a player for the future.
“I could say it's a bit pressure on me, but not trying not to think about it,” Alcaraz said after his US Open first round win over Sebastian Baez. “I mean, I consider myself not the next. I think I'm number four right now.
“So, yeah, I'm the kind of player that is in the moment, not the next generation or next player. I'm fighting with the best players in the world in the best tournaments.
“So I'm just trying to enjoy these kind of moments, play in the best, yeah, in the best stadiums in the world.”
Carlos Alcaraz produced some fine tennis as he got off to a winning start against Baez, although the humid conditions proved brutal for both players.
In fact, they forced Baez to all but grind to a complete physical halt at the start of the second set with him retiring soon afterwards.
“Well, I'm really happy to get through,” Alcaraz admitted. “I mean, he was really, really tough match with a horrible end, but, I mean, it was really tough conditions, very humid. The heat was pretty tough, so I'm just really happy with the level and be able to play the second round.
“Honestly, it surprise myself. I mean, the conditions, I didn't think it was going to be really, really tough. But you have to handle the moment.
“Yeah, you have to be really, really focused on your shots, on the points, and the moments. You have to, let's say, to be more aggressive or not. Like I say, it was, yeah, really tough.”
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