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Former French Open semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato has described Carlos Alcaraz as ‘extraordinary’ and compared him to Rafael Nadal.

The Italian has struggled since reaching the last four at Roland Garros in 2018, but he has attempted to raise his level this off-season by practicing with Alcaraz, who won the US Open and became world number one this year.

Cecchinato has never actually played Alcaraz in a competitive match, but he has trained with him before and he says there is a big difference between now and then.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Cecchinato said: "I had a good training with Carlos Alcaraz.

“He's really an extraordinary boy, and he's very strong. I've seen him grow a lot compared to the training sessions we've had in the past."

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"Compared to a year ago, he is much more powerful and he sees that he is working to play the forehand winner right away. In some ways he reminds me a lot of Rafa."

Comparisons to Rafael Nadal are something that Carlos Alcaraz has just had to get used to during his career.

In fact, ever since he first attracted in Spain as a special talent at the age of 13 he has had the ‘next Rafael Nadal’ label attached to everything he has done. He, though, has always said he tries to distance himself from the talk.

“There is no point in comparing," Alcaraz recently said. "It doesn't matter that now I am world number one, Rafa's entire career counts for a lot."

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