Carlos Alcaraz is not up against fellow Spanish tennis player and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, the sport’s current top-ranked player. The 19-year-old Alcaraz was the youngest player to hold the top spot in the world rankings earlier this year.
In a statement to Eurosport, Alcaraz asserted that he does not see Rafael Nadal as a rival and that the two do not compete against one another off the court. “Rafa is not my enemy. I say hello, I don’t see that competition. With the rest of the players, it’s the same. Beyond that relationship I’ll try to keep being No. 1,” said the 19-year-old Spanish player.
Despite their rivalry for the top-ranking spot, the 19-year-old went on to claim that he and Nadal are buddies off the court. According to Alcaraz, dominating the world rankings has always been his dream. He continued by saying how much he was still enjoying holding up the US Open trophy. Alcaraz had a scare with an injury before the Paris Masters that cast doubt on his ability to compete. But the teen was allowed to fight Yoshihito Nishioka after receiving a bye in round two. The Spaniard defeated the Japanese player in straight sets with a score of 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Round of 16 in Paris.