Carlos Alcaraz defeated world no. 14, Diego Schwartzman in straight sets in the 2022 Rio Open final to win his second ATP title. With his victory, the 18-year-old became the youngest ATP 500 champion and he imitated several feats achieved by fellow Spanish tennis legend, Rafael Nadal.
Alcaraz’s first clay-court match of the season also turned out to be an impressive showing, as the Spaniard earned a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Jaume Munar. It was encouraging for his supporters to see young Carlos dominate the match.
“I felt like home today. It is very hard to have that so far from where I came from,” Alcaraz said before a joyous Brazilian crowd.
Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal practice together in California
Rafael Nadal hit the court with young Spanish phenomenon, Carlos Alcaraz in an Indian Wells practice session on opening day of the BNP Paribas Open. It is the second time the pair have practiced at a tournament together following the 2021 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal is very impressed with Carlos Alcaraz. He has said, “Well, he’s playing very aggressive. He has a lot of potential. He’s a young and good guy, so, I mean, he already has a great level of tennis today. But I really believe that he gonna be a fantastic player in the near future, no?”
He added, “Yeah, I wish him all the very best. I mean, like Spanish player and like in Spanish fan, I really believe that we need somebody like him. And it’s great to have him here.”
The Spanish duo met professionally only once at the Madrid Open. Nadal won nine of the first 10 games. He defeated Alcaraz 6-1, 6-2 sweep to move into the Madrid Open round of 16.
Alcaraz is the youngest active male player to have won multiple ATP titles. It is another record that was previously held by Nadal. Alcaraz currently holds two ATP titles – the 2021 Umag Open and the 2022 Rio Open – at the age of 18 years and 9 months.