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5 interesting similarities between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz

5 interesting similarities between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz
5 interesting similarities between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz
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Shyam Kamal

Tennis fans have long waited to see who the next Rafael Nadal will be, and as it turns out, it might be someone from his own country after all. Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz has taken the world by storm over the last few weeks, reaching the semifinals of two Masters 1000 tournaments on the trot.

While he could only be quelled at Indian Wells by the 21-time Grand Slam champion himself, he has been unstoppable in Miami so far and has a shot at the title on Sunday. The World No. 16 has already taken care of defending champion Hubert Hurkacz and will take on Casper Ruud in the summit clash.

Carlos Alcaraz is the 4th youngest ever player to reach a Masters 1000 final, as he beats the defending champion Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(5), 7-6(2) to reach the title match in Miami against Casper Ruud. Two first time ATP M1000 finalists.18 years, 333 days.[getty] https://t.co/D5KIzLdyQT

Other than the obvious similarities that both are from Spain, there are also a few more interesting comparisons that can be made between the pair that stem from their success on the tennis court. Without further ado, here's a look at five of them:

#1 Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest player to represent Spain at the Davis Cup since Rafael Nadal

Carlos Alcaraz made his Davis Cup debut when he was only a year older than when Rafael Nadal did
Carlos Alcaraz made his Davis Cup debut when he was only a year older than when Rafael Nadal did

Rafael Nadal made his debut for Spain at the Davis Cup in 2004 at the age of 17 years and 248 days. Unfortunately, the World No. 3 ended up losing his first tie against the Czech Republic's Jiri Novak.

Davis Cup debut incoming 馃嚜馃嚫@alcarazcarlos03 is set to make his first appearance for Spain against Romania's Marius Copil on Friday#DavisCup #byRakuten | @RFETenis https://t.co/ESsdo66jbi

Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz made his debut at the team tournament this year at the age of 18 years and 303 days, making him the youngest to play for Spain since the 21-time Grand Slam champion.The 18-year-old defeated Romania's Marius Copil to hand his team an unassailable lead in the fixture.

Carlos Alcaraz has tested positive for Covid and won鈥檛 be able to play Davis Cup Finals.

Alcaraz was expected to make his debut at the tournament last year, but was prevented from doing so due to a COVID-19 infection.


#2 Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest match-winner at the Madrid Masters, breaking Rafael Nadal's record

Carlos Alcaraz broke his idol's record to become the youngest match-winner at the Madrid Open
Carlos Alcaraz broke his idol's record to become the youngest match-winner at the Madrid Open

Carlos Alcaraz made his Madrid Masters debut in the 2021 edition with the help of a wildcard and faced off against Adrian Mannarino in the first round. The World No. 16 went on to win the match 6-4, 6-0, making him the youngest match-winner in the history of the tournament.

@alcarazcarlos03 This was @alcarazcarlos03's first ever win at Masters 1000 level 馃憦He'll face Nadal in Madrid on his 18th birthday 馃コThe stuff dreams are made of! #MMOpen https://t.co/f7Kl76MtDh

The previous record was held by Rafael Nadal, who defeated Davide Sanguinetti in the first round of the 2004 edition. Interestingly, both players went on to lose their second-round matches. While the former World No. 1 fell to Vincent Spadea, Alcaraz succumbed to a straight-sets loss against Nadal himself.


#3 Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest Spaniard to win an ATP tour title since Rafael Nadal

Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest Spaniard to win an ATP tour title since the Mallorcan
Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest Spaniard to win an ATP tour title since the Mallorcan

Carlos Alcaraz's first ATP tour title came at the age of 18 years, two months and 14 days at the 2021 Croatia Open Umag, where he defeated three players seeded higher than him en route.

After besting third seed Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals, the teenager dwarfed top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the semifinals and Richard Gasquet in the final to lift his first piece of silverware on the main circuit.

Carlos Alcaraz, 18y3m, beats Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2 to win in Umag his first (of many) ATP titles.He is the youngest ATP winner since Nishikori in Delray 2008 and the youngest Spanish player to win one since Nadal, who won his first in Sopot when he was 8 (!) days younger. https://t.co/I8OObgVLR6

In the process, he became the youngest player to win an ATP tour title since Kei Nishikori (2008 Delray Beach Open) as well as the youngest Spaniard to achieve the feat since Nadal in 2004. The Mallorcan's accomplishment came at the Idea Prokom Open in Warsaw, where he won the title without dropping a set at the age of 18 years, two months and six days.


#4 Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest player to reach the semifinals of the Sunshine Double, overtaking Rafael Nadal in the process

Carlos Alcaraz overtook Nadal to become the youngest player to reach the Sunshine Double semifinals
Carlos Alcaraz overtook Nadal to become the youngest player to reach the Sunshine Double semifinals

Thanks to his exploits over the past few weeks, Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player to reach the semifinals (18 years and 10 months) at Indian Wells and Miami, collectively known as the Sunshine Double.

The only other teenagers to have done so in the past are Andre Agassi, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, all of whom were 19 years old.

Teens to Reach @BNPParibasOpen & @MiamiOpen SFs18-year-old @AlcarazCarlos0319-year-old @RafaelNadal (Future World No. 1)19-year-old @DjokerNole (Future World No. 1)19-year-old @Andy_Murray (Future World No. 1)19-year-old @AndreAgassi (Future World No. 1)

By reaching the final in Miami, the World No. 16 also became the youngest player to accomplish the feat since Nadal.

Youngest @MiamiOpen Finalists1 @RafaelNadal, 18y10m, in 2005 (Runner-up)2 @AlcarazCarlos03, 18y11m, in 20223 @JannikSin, 19y8m, in 2021 (Runner-up)4 @DjokerNole, 19y10m, in 2007 (Champion)5 @AndreAgassi, 19y11m in 1990 (Champion)#MiamiOpen

#5 Carlos Alcaraz brought up his 5th win against a top-10 player around the same age as Rafael Nadal

Carlos Alcaraz was less than a fortnight older than Nadal by the time they notched up their 5th top ten win
Carlos Alcaraz was less than a fortnight older than Nadal by the time they notched up their 5th top ten win

Carlos Alcaraz defeated World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round in Miami, which marked his fifth win against top-10 opposition. He had beaten Tsitsipas once before, Matteo Berrettini twice and Jannik Sinner.

DID YOU KNOW鉂揅arlos Alcaraz, who got the 5th Top 10 win of his career in Miami tonight, is just 12 days older than Nadal was when he got his 5th career Top 10 win at 2005 Monte Carlo.Nadal: 18y, 10m, 12dAlcaraz: 18y, 10m, 24dFederer and Djokovic did it when they were 19.

At the age of 18 years, 10 months and 24 days, the Spaniard was only 12 days older than Nadal when he accomplished the feat. The 21-time Grand Slam champion's wins came against Albert Costa, Carlos Moya, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Gaston Gaudio.


Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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