Juan Carlos Ferrero thinks that all of the comparisons being made between Carlos Alcaraz and world number two Rafael Nadal puts extra pressure on the young Spaniard.
The pair will meet in a hotly anticipated match on Wednesday at the Madrid Masters, in front of what will be a home crowd for both players.
The players couldn't be further from each other in terms of their tennis careers so far. Nadal at 34-years-old has a tennis career spanning over 15 years and is a 20-time Grand Slam Champion going for his sixth Madrid Masters title.
Meanwhile, Alcaraz, who will turn 18 on the day of the match, is at the very start of his journey, with no ATP titles yet, is ranked 120th in the world and is making his Masters debut in Madrid.
Nevertheless, for the last year or so, as the young Spaniard has impressed on the Tour, many have made comparisons between the pair, speculating that Alcaraz is the next Rafael Nadal.
Fittingly in winning his first round clash in Madrid, Alcaraz became the youngest match winner in tournament history at the Madrid Masters – surpassing 18-year-old Nadal’s record in 2004.
Speaking ahead of the match on Wednesday, Ferrero who is coach to Alcaraz, says he doesn't believe the comparisons help the youngster and that he should be appreciated for his own abilities.
"All that talk about Carlos as the next Rafa, I think it's not good for him," said Ferrero.
"It 's an added pressure that it gets. It does not serve too. I like to think that we have another player who has a lot of potential.
"With his game and his way of facing game by game, face to face with the players, makes me trust that it will be very good . But you have to go step by step.
"For me it is a generational duel. Rafa is surviving, he is playing at a very high level, fighting for Grand Slams.
"I would not dare to speak of relief. It is true that Carlos is the boy who comes from behind, not to replace but to choose to great things and to play great games."
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