World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz has opened up about the nerves he experiences whenever he plays against Rafael Nadal, ahead of the 2024 Australian Open.
Alcaraz has always looked up to Nadal and closely followed his matches since childhood. He has earlier praised Nadal’s match-turning abilities and expressed admiration for him after their Indian Wells semifinal clash in 2022.
“He’s my idol since I was a kid. Everybody knows how Rafa’s game is and he has a thousand lives in the match. When he’s down, he can turn the game around”-Carlos Alcaraz after the semifinal clash at Indian Wells in 2022
Ahead of the 2024 Australian Open, Alcaraz expressed his admiration for Nadal and admitted that he still experiences nervousness when in the presence of the 22-time Grand Slam champion. Despite having met Nadal numerous times, Alcaraz acknowledged that he still gets nervous due to his deep respect and idolization of the legend.
“He[Nadal] makes me nervous, obviously. I mean, I’ve met him a lot of times right now but I still have nerves when I am speaking with him. Yeah, of course, he is my idol, he is my role model since I started playing tennis. So, I think the nerves will appear it’s something that’s impossible to pull out.”-Carlos Alcaraz to Eurosport ahead of the 2024 Australian Open
They have faced each other three times on the ATP tour, with Nadal winning the first two encounters which came at the 2021 Madrid Masters and 2022 Indian Wells Masters. Alcaraz secured victory in their last meeting at the 2022 Madrid Masters on his way to the title.
Carlos Alcaraz sets sight on Australian Open final showdown with Novak Djokovic
Carlos Alcaraz is determined to challenge Novak Djokovic for the 2024 Australian Open title, expressing his extra motivation due to Djokovic’s unbeaten record of 10 Australian Open titles. He is looking up to the opportunity to face the Serb and beat him to clinch his first Australian Open title.
No.1 seed Djokovic will face Dino Prizmic and No.2 seed Alcaraz will face Richard Gasquet in the first round. Djokovic will aim for his 11th title whereas Alcaraz his first.
During a recent interview, Alcaraz was asked about the prospect of facing Djokovic at the Australian Open where he had great success. Alcaraz stated that it serves as an “extra motivation” for him to face the Serb and test his won level against one of the best players in the world.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s an extra motivation for me. I’m an ambitious guy. I always wanted to play against the best players in the world to see what is my level. Obviously, it’s a good test, playing against him in the places or in the tourment that he’s almost unbeaten.”
“Yeah, I looking for reaching the final and hopefully playing a final against him. It would be great obviously. But, yeah, knowing those stats, it’s an extra motivation, for sure.”-Carlos Alcaraz in an interview ahead of the 2024 Australian Open