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Federer's forehand & Djokovic's backhand, but Rafael Nadal's mentality: Teen prodigy creates his ideal player

Rafael Nadal during 2020 ATP Cup
Rafael Nadal during 2020 ATP Cup
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 08 Aug 2020
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Roger FedererRafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are almost unanimously considered to be the three greatest tennis players of all time. Popularly referred to as the 'Big 3' of tennis, the three legends have monopolized the Grand Slams and won 56 between them - Roger Federer at 20, Rafael Nadal at 19 and Novak Djokovic at 17.

Even as they have aged, the trio have been nearly unstoppable at the Grand Slams. They have won the last 13 Slams in a row, creating a seemingly unbreakable stranglehold over the men's tour.

The credit for the Big 3's success and longevity goes to the breathtaking talent, drive and mentality that each of them possess. And with all three of them having such imposing games, it can be quite difficult to leave out any of their shots while creating an 'ideal tennis player'.

However, this was a challenge that Spanish teen prodigy Carlos Alcaraz was ready to take on in an interview with AS. The 17-year-old named different elements from the arsenals of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to create what he thought was the perfect player.

Ideal tennis player should have mentality of Rafael Nadal and forehand of Roger Federer: Carlos Alcaraz

The Spaniard believes his style of play is more similar to Roger Federer
The Spaniard believes his style of play is more similar to Roger Federer

The Spaniard recently spoke at length about Rafael Nadal, heaping praise on the 19-time Major winner's humble character. But when talking about the characteristics of the perfect player, it was Novak Djokovic who came to Alcaraz's mind first.

"For me, the ideal tennis player should have the backhand and the return game of Novak Djokovic," Alcaraz said.

The Spaniard, who has previously said how his game is more similar to the likes of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer than his famous compatriot, then named the other parts of the game that his ideal player would possess.

"Then, the mentality of Rafael Nadal, the forehand of Roger Federer and the service of John Isner," Alcaraz added.
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Carlos Alcaraz following in the footsteps of his idol Rafael Nadal

Carlos Alcaraz marked an important career moment on the courts of Rio earlier this year, when he defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Aged just 16 then, Alcaraz became the youngest player to win on the men's tour since 2013 - and the youngest Spaniard to do so since Rafael Nadal himself.

But the 17-year-old prefers to keep his feet on the ground, and he remarked in the AS interview that he is nowhere close to being like his 'idol' Rafael Nadal.

Nicknamed 'Baby Nadal', Carlos Alcaraz is coached by 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero. The former World No. 1 has claimed that comparisons with Rafael Nadal may be overwhelming for Alcaraz, as it has been a long time since a Spanish teenager was this good at such a ripe age.

Published 08 Aug 2020, 01:16 IST
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