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Spanish tennis - the future is bright
19 September 2021 @ 21:15

The sight of the great Rafael Nadal on crutches this week has yet again led sports journalists to wonder how much longer the Spanish superstar can carry on competing at the top of the game. Whilst nobody dares write him off just yet - he has bounced back in spectacular fashion too many times for anyone wortht their salt to venture down that road - even he admitted this week that having yet another operation on his troublesome foot and being on crutches now "was not in the script". 

While the 20-times Grand Slam Champion takes time off in his native Mallorca to recover from this latest setback and prepare for the 2022 season, we take a look at the next wave of Spanish players making their way up the rankings ready to receive that baton, whenever it gets passed.

Carlos Alcaraz at the 2021 US Open

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia

Coached by former World No. 1, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz has been maving waves and breaking records on the professional circuit for a couple of years now. At the age of 16, he made his ATP main draw debut at the 2020 Rio Open, defeating fellow countryman Albert Ramos Viñolas after receiving a wildcard for the singles main draw. Aged 17, Alcaraz qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open, making him the youngest participant in the men’s singles. He won his Grand Slam debut defeating fellow qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets before losing in the second round to Mikael Ymer.

In 2021 Alcaraz became the youngest match winner in the Madrid Open's history, defeating Adrian Mannarino as a wildcard and breaking 18-year-old Rafael Nadal’s record from 2004. In the second round, he lost to five-time champion Nadal on his 18th birthday. By winning the biggest title of his career until then at the 2021 Open de Oeiras III challenger, he entered the top 100 as the youngest player at the age of 18 on 24 May 2021.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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