Carlos Alcaraz says he blocks out comparisons to Rafael Nadal and is braced for a difficult 2023 season with “a lot pressure” on him.
Alcaraz, 19, has enjoyed a breakout season, winning two Masters titles and the US Open. He is the youngest world No. 1 in history on the ATP Tour and also last week became the youngest year-end No. 1.
His achievement at such an early age have drawn comparisons with fellow Spaniard Nadal, who won his first Grand Slam aged 19 and reached world No. 1 three years later.
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But Alcaraz, who is recovering from an abdominal injury that ruled him out of the Nitto ATP Finals, told a press conference that he turns a "deaf ear" to the comparisons.
“There is no point in comparing," he said.
"It doesn't matter that now I am world No. 1, Rafa's entire career counts for a lot."
Alcaraz added that he hopes to achieve “at least half” of what Nadal has over his legendary career.
He also said "it is a pleasure, for every tennis lover, to see Rafa on the court”.
Alcaraz is on vacation in Tenerife as he looks to recover from an abdominal injury ahead of the new season.
He says he is trying to “regain strength before returning to the court”.
Looking ahead to 2023, Alcaraz added: “The season is going to be difficult because I am going to start as the favourite and there is going to be a lot of pressure on me.
“But I try to keep the good part and see that all this does not go to my head. In the end, beating your idols is an incredible achievement.
"I try to take it normally and never forget that whatever happens in the future, I have to enjoy tennis and play at my level.”
Alcaraz is not currently signed up to play at the inaugural United Cup, which starts on December 29.
He will be hoping to be 100% healthy for the Australian Open on January 16.
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