The Spanish tennis heir has arrived. Rafa Nadal has been the Spanish tennis king on the international circuit for over 15 years now, but it appears that his successor is well on his way to taking the throne. Many have rightly pointed out that Alcaraz is its natural successor, and it is no wonder. Since 2003, no Spaniard other than Nadal has been able to win a Grand Slam.
It’s no surprise that people start making comparisons between players. Although Alcaraz has made a very impressive start to his tennis career, it is impossible to predict whether he will reach insane heights like Nadal. Nadal is the most capped player in history, with 22 Grand Slam titles to his name, which is currently more than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic each have. He won the Australian Open twice, the Roland Garros tournament in fourteen copies (being the tennis player he has won the most times in history), Wimbledon twice, and the US Open four times.
Having said that, perhaps a comparison between 19-year-old Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz can give insight into the trajectory of the Murcia tennis player, and whether he would be involved in a shot to capture his compatriot.
The world’s smallest number 1 ever
Alcaraz became the youngest number one ever at just 19 years, 4 months and 6 days old. This is much younger than Nadal when he was crowned for the first time in the world. In fact, there is a three-year difference between the two: nAdal has been named number one in the world at 22 years, 2 months and 15 days old. In this regard, “Carlitos” is ahead of the 19-year-old Nadal. However, in the case of Nadal, we must also take into account that he snatched the number one spot from Roger Federer who was at the time at the peak of his career. It could be argued that Alcaraz’s current rivals for the position were not quite as good as Federer at the time.
Although Alcaraz is now the world’s youngest ever player, In 2003, when he was just 17 years old, Nadal became the youngest ever player among the world’s top 100 players.. That year, he also became the youngest player to reach the third round of Wimbledon, something that only Boris Becker of Germany achieved.
Interestingly, Nadal is the youngest tennis player in history to win the Golden Slam titlewhich consists of winning all four major slams and a gold medal at the Olympics during his career, a feat shared only with Andre Agassi.
19, the magic number
It was 2005, at the age of 19, when Rafa Nadal announced himself on the international tennis arena in real style. He had a great season that year, and he wrapped it up with his season First Grand Slam win. on Sunday, June 5, 2005, became the fourth youngest player in history to win Roland Garros (at the age of nineteen years and two days)He defeated Argentine Mariano Puerta in the final 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 7-5. as became The second player to win Roland Garros on his debut in the tournament behind Mats Wheelander.
Having said that, at the 2005 US Open, a competition that Alcaraz just won, Nadal only reached the third round after losing to James Blake 4-6, 6-4, 3-6 years 1-6.
And the winner is…
It’s hard to separate them when comparing them at 19 years old. What we can be sure of is that being crowned world number one at just 19-years-old is an extraordinary feat, and based on that alone, one could argue that Alcaraz has an advantage over 19-year-old Nadal. Having said that, Alcaraz has a long career ahead of him, and whether he maintains that high level, as Rafa has done for over 15 years, remains to be seen.