Rafael Nadal knows what he needs to be the best tennis player

Rafael Nadal [right] and Carlos Alcaraz [left] at Indian Wells 2022 season

 The Spaniard overcame a challenging match against compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in three sets in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells 2022. Despite the loss, the 18-year-old put on a stunning performance that was beyond his years. At his post-match press conference, the 2022 Australian Open champion underlined Alcaraz's dexterity as something that stands out. "I think he has all the factors," Nadal said of a compatriot who is almost twice his age. 

"He can play very aggressively. He can play defensively because he is very fast. He can defend amazing balls. Of course, when he plays aggressively, it is difficult to stop him because the quality of the ball is very high." "I think he has all the ingredients to be a great champion. I didn't go into the match more nervous because I was playing against a younger player. I treat it like I'm playing against a top 8 player. Regarding the level of play, that's how I feel about him." The former world number 1 saw elements of his own experience as he watched Alcaraz progress rapidly. He believes that the 18-year-old will be on the right track to success.
“When you are young, when you go through a new experience for the first time, everything is new. 

You play in different stadiums, against different opponents, in tournaments that one or two seasons ago you saw on television," Nadal added. “I think you will be very happy. You have passion. You don't feel burdened. He is at the beginning of that process.” "I don't have much doubt that he will be great. It's been great!” Meanwhile, despite his successful start to the 2022 season, the world number 4 is poised to return to his best in the BNP Paribas Open final against the host, Taylor Fritz. 

"Physically I feel great. I fought for almost 3 hours the previous day and this time it was 3 hours. Regarding the physical performance, I don't feel very tired," admitted Nadal. "With the current conditions, I always feel physically fit here. I don't think I've ever lost a game here because of a physical problem or feeling tired. Honestly, I feel pretty good. I can't complain. I enjoyed it. I went through a lot of fights in this tournament, 
but I'm still alive."

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