Alexander Zverev Makes an Interesting Comparison Between Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal

Published 03/18/2021, 1:47 AM EDT
Alexander Zverev of Germany congratulates Rafael Nadal of Spain on winning their third round match on day six of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


World No. 7 Alexander Zverev met Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz Garfia at the ATP Mexican Open 2021. During their match, Zverev could not help but notice the traits of Rafael Nadal in the 17-year-old.

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The long list of praises from top players keeps growing for the Spaniard, and the parallel being drawn between him and the 20-time Grand Slam champion must be especially gratifying.

Earlier, Alcaraz became the youngest player to qualify for the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament after Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. Also, he has leapt from 318 to 132 in the ATP Rankings since last year.

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Alcaraz hits heavy, similar to Rafael Nadal, states Zverev

Alexander Zverev defeated Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in two straight sets 6-3, 6-1 in the Round of 32. But the scoreboard does not justify the ability and caliber the Spaniard showed in the match.

The German believes that the teenager applies power behind the ball like the French Open king. He said, “[Carlos’] shots are extremely heavy, his forehand particularly. He reminds me of Nadal, a right-hander obviously, but the heaviness of the ball is very similar.”

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third-round match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Zverev added that the 17-year-old would only improve from now on. He also said that the heaviness of Alcaraz’s ball was very different compared to the other younger guys he has played before.

Lastly, the German revealed his big expectations from the Spanish teenager. “He plays extremely well, moves well and hits the ball very hard, so I think he has a bright future ahead. I think he will move up the [FedEx ATP] Rankings quite quickly,” Zverev said.

Notably, Rafael Nadal also came into the limelight as a teenager, and he never left that spot since then. Thus, Alcaraz will look forward to climbing and improving as he goes ahead.

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Nadal will not defend the Acapulco title this year

Following Alcaraz, Zverev steered past his next round opponent, Laslo Dere, 6-4, 6-3. The victory helped him to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP Mexican Open. He will next face Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals.

Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021, Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his semi-final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Kelly Defina

The defending champion, Rafael Nadal, did not participate this year due to a back injury. Hence, Acapulco will see a new crown holder on March 20, 2021.

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Do you think Zverev can win his first title of the year in Mexico?

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Purav Joshi

670 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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