Carlos Alcaraz will relish ‘extra pressure’ after Rafael Nadal French Open withdrawal
Carlos Alcaraz will likely relish the prospect of carrying the hopes of Spain in the French Open with Rafael Nadal absent from the Grand Slam.
Eurosport pundit and former Roland Garros finalist Alex Corretja believes that Alcaraz will step up to the added expectations on him after the 14-time champion was forced to pull out.
Alcaraz was already the bookmakers favourite for the tournament ahead of Novak Djokovic and his illustrious compatriot.
Corretja believes that Alcaraz will draw inspiration and will want to succeed in Nadal’s stead.
“It will definitely have an impact on Alcaraz, for sure,” Corretja told Eurosport.
“All eyes will be on him and on Novak and all the other potential favourites but being Spanish and knowing that Rafa is not going to be there, all the attention is going to be on him on the men’s side.
“Knowing Alcaraz, he will be okay to deal with that, I’m sure.
“He loves that, which is very amazing and very impressive, but he will definitely need to cope with all the attention and everyone asking him about being the favourite and the next Spanish winner, etc.”
Corretja believes that it will take a great effort from the Alcaraz team to keep external pressure from getting to the 20-year-old.
“His whole team need to work with Carlos even more, just taking all the pressure off him.”
Corretja believes that Alcaraz’s defeat in Rome might actually aid his cause in Paris.
While the soon-to-be world No 1 was bidding for the vaunted Madrid and Rome double but his defeat has instead given him more time to prepare for an assault on the French Open.
Corretja also added that the loss in Rome would temper some expectations and enable him to come into the tournament fresh and ready to fire.
“Losing in Rome was the best thing that could have happened to him because he will have lost a bit of expectation and relaxed a little bit.
“His energy is going to be so high for Roland-Garros.
“When he starts the tournament, he does not need to think any more about this and can focus only on himself.”
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander believes that there is an opportunity for the rest of the field to step in with Nadal unable to take part.
“To the rest of the players: this is your chance because Rafa is not there, so you had better take it,” Wilander said.
The French Open main draw starts on Sunday 28 May 2023.
Rafael Nadal makes honest confession as he discusses comeback expectations
Rafael Nadal has openly discussed his expectations ahead of his 2024 comeback.
Novak Djokovic facing a double threat to his status as world No 1 – but not from Jannik Sinner
Novak Djokovic will need to maintain his remarkable levels of brilliance to hang onto top spot in the rankings.
‘Carlos Alcaraz cannot achieve great results in a diesel mode like Novak Djokovic’, says former ATP star
A former world No 12 has spoken of a “diesel mode” he feels Novak Djokovic possesses.
The 10 biggest ATP Rankings rises in 2023: American star makes stunning 500-place surge
A look at the top 10 biggest movers in the 2023 ATP Rankings.
Toni Nadal makes admission about 2024 French Open belief Rafael Nadal holds
Toni Nadal has spoken about his nephew Rafael Nadal ahead of his comeback.
When will Emma Raducanu make her comeback and where will she be ranked?
Emma Raducanu has been training at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre recently, but her comeback date is unclear.
Cameron Norrie gives five reasons why Carlos Alcaraz is a better player than Jannik Sinner in feisty interview
British No 1 Cameron Norrie gave a compelling insight into the best two young players.
Novak Djokovic heads final UTR rankings of 2023 as two big names miss out on top 10 spot
While the official ATP rankings will always carry plenty of weight, the UTR rankings offers an alternative list.
Legendary coach disagrees with Boris Becker’s comments about Carlos Alcaraz
“I’m still putting my money on [Carlos Alcaraz] next year as a contender for every Grand Slam with [Novak] Djokovic.”
Holger Rune explains why he is happy that ‘real deal’ Novak Djokovic is still playing at a high level
Holger Rune happy to be learning from Novak Djokovic.