The 36-year-old is one of the best players to have graced the sport. The legendary left-hander has won a record 22 Grand Slam titles, including 14 at Roland Garros, and countless other big titles during his illustrious career and hasn't left the top ten of the ATP singles since 2005.
Alcaraz, meanwhile, has had a stellar start to his young career and has had a memorable 2022 campaign. He became the first teenager to become the World No. 1 after winning the US Open and is also the first teen to end the year atop the ATP singles rankings.
While his early success has evoked comparisons with Nadal, Alcaraz said that even if he's ranked above his illustrious compatriot, he has a long way to go to come close to matching the former World No. 1's exploits.
Currently on vacation in Tenerife, Alcaraz said, as per Eurosport:
“There is no point in comparing. It doesn't matter that now I have the number one title, Rafa's entire career counts a lot. It is a pleasure for every tennis lover to see Rafa on the court. He is in a very high level still, me being him I wouldn't even consider leaving it ”.
Nadal is coming off a group-stage exit at the ATP Finals in Turin, where he lost two of his three matches. Alcaraz, meanwhile, didn't play the event due to an abdominal tear.
Rafael Nadal's 2022 season highlights
Rafael Nadal has had a memorable 2022 campaign despite being plagued by injuries.
He started the season with a career-best 20-0 run, winning three titles, including his second Australian Open title. After his winning start was snapped by Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, he made a belated start to his claycourt campaign.
Following early losses in Madrid and Rome, the Spaniard dethroned defending champion Novak Djokovic in the last eight before beating Casper Ruud to win a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title.
The 36-year-old then reached the Wimbledon semifinals but had to pull out of his last four clash with Nick Kyrgios because of an abdominal tear.
The World No. 2 reached the second week at the US Open — where he suffered his only Grand Slam defeat of the year (against Frances Tiafoe). However, more injury woes meant he lost his next four matches before beating Ruud in the ATP Finals in Turin.