Nadal hails ‘amazing’ Alcaraz after exhibition defeat


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Nadal hails ‘amazing’ Alcaraz after exhibition defeat

HIT. Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against Mackenzie Mcdonald of the USA in the Australian Open.

Loren Elliott/REUTERS

22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal says the future of Spanish tennis is in good hands with 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz

Rafa Nadal said one good thing about nearing the end of his career is that he will not have to face Carlos Alcaraz too many times after the 37-year-old Spaniard lost to his compatriot in an exhibition match in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 3.

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, added that the future of Spanish tennis was in good hands with the 20-year-old. Alcaraz has already won majors at the US Open and Wimbledon and is ranked No. 2 in the world behind Novak Djokovic.

“It’s a good thing that as a player I will not face him many times,” said Nadal, who expects to retire in 2024 after a series of injuries limited his appearances on the circuit.

“As a fan, I will enjoy watching him for many years hopefully.”

“In Spain, we should be very, very happy about having someone like Carlos coming.

“He’s an amazing player. He’s only 20 years old and he’s already won two Grand Slams and a couple of important tournaments.”

Nadal, who spent almost a year on the sidelines with a hip flexor injury before suffering a muscle injury at the start of this season, said he felt “much better than expected” during the exhibition match.

Up next for Nadal and Alcaraz is the Masters tournament at Indian Wells. –

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