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'Carlos Alcaraz reminds me of Rafael Nadal - he has a bright future,' says Alexander Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz forehand

Alexander Zverev has likened his Mexican Open first round opponent, Carlos Alcaraz to 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, and says he will be a top ten player in three years.

Zverev comprehensively beat 17-year old Alcaraz 6-3, 6-1 in Acapulco but insists he is ahead of other players of the same age and believes he will establish himself as a highly ranked player very soon.

“He is 17 years old and everyone is looking at him right now,” said Zverev.

“I remember when I was 17, coming on Tour and he is playing incredible tennis. My guess is he will be Top 10 by 2024, in three years’ time when he is 20.

"He is definitely going to have a long and great career and it won’t be the last time I play him.”

Alexander Zverev, who will now play Serbian Lalso Djere for a place in the quarter-finals, says Carlos Alcaraz reminds him of a young Nadal in the way he plays.

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“[Carlos’] shots are extremely heavy, his forehand particularly,” said Zverev.

“He reminds me of Nadal, a right-hander obviously, but the heaviness of the ball is very similar. He will only improve from now on.

“I have played against a lot of younger players than me. The heaviness of his ball was very different to the others guys that I have played against.

"He plays extremely well, moves well and hits the ball very hard so I think he has a bright future ahead. I think he will move up the rankings quite quickly.”

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