As the highly anticipated ATP finals inched closer, one tennis legend was sighted, leaving an encouraging message for the World’s second-ranked tennis player, Carlos Alcaraz, on Instagram.

Alcaraz on Nadal: He’s my hero

Throughout his career, Alcaraz was often asked who his idol was, and his response was always the same: “Rafael Nadal.” Both players hail from Spain and have been an incredible force on court, continuously breaking barriers and setting records. 

“I want to be one of the best tennis players in history. To be on the same table as the legend, Rafa. Rafa was my hero when I was young when I started playing tennis. Towards his matches, finals, lifting the best trophies in the world, I felt, for me, Rafa was my hero growing up,” Alcaraz said in Cincytennis’ latest Instagram post.

And with only a few days before the Finals takes off, Nadal decided to leave a message for his Spanish successor under the video, cheering him on as he takes on yet another daunting challenge: @carlitosalcarazz Big hug and good luck in Turin 💪🏻🙌 @nittoatpfinals


Alcaraz this year

At the young age of 20, Alcaraz has risen to as high as No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, constantly competing with the 24-time grand slam winner, Novak Djokovic. In June of this year, Alcaraz outranked Djokovic after he won the Cinch Championships.

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However, after Djokovic’s historic win at the US Open, he soon reclaimed the throne from Alcaraz.

Nevertheless, it’s clear to anyone that Alcaraz has been magnificent this year. And considering that he’s still young, many people are left in awe of his talent, including his rival Djokovic, who said that Alcaraz reminded him of Nadal so much.

Even Roger Federer himself commended Nadal on his accomplishments last month on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast.“Alcaraz is great. I mean, look, he’s still young & everything that he has achieved is fantastic. And not just on clay or just on hard. But also now winning Wimbledon against Novak in the final.. that is no joke. I mean he didn’t need to really prove that point but that’s another super asterisk in his CV.”

Despite Alcaraz’s current state of disarray, which has resulted in a succession of defeats in recent tournaments, the most notable of which was the Paris Masters, where he was eliminated in the first round, the Spaniard remains confident of a successful return to form at this year’s ATP Turin Finals.

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Cover Photo: YouTube

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