Carlos Alcaraz highlights one trait he learned from Rafael Nadal and explains how he handles fame

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal shake hands

Carlos Alcaraz says Rafael Nadal’s never-say-die attitude is one feature from the 21-time Grand Slam winner that he wants to copy throughout his career.

The 18-year-old Alcaraz had first-hand experience of Nadal’s “fighting spirit” at the Indian Wells Open in March as he lost in three sets against the former world No 1 in the semi-final at the ATP Masters 1000 event in California.

Barely a fortnight later and that experience came to good use as he went all the way at the Miami Open to win his maiden Masters title.

There have been a lot of comparisons between the two Spaniards, but Alcaraz wants to replicate Nadal’s attitude to fight until the last ball.

“I learned about the fighting spirit, of never giving up,” the teenager revealed on Spanish talk show El Hormiguero.

“Many people will have also seen the Australian Open match, he was losing and came back almost miraculously.

“From that match against him [at Indian Wells] I get the fighting spirit, never give up and fight until the last ball.”

Alcaraz has already won three titles this year as he also lifted the Rio Open trophy in February and the Barcelona trophy last week and his newfound fame means he is now one of the most popular tennis players around the globe.

So how exactly does he handle fame?

“I handle it quite well,” he said. “I tell everyone I don’t consider myself to be famous. When I get recognised, I take it in stride.

“The team is there to tell me about the bad things and although it frustrates me, it’s better for me.

“At first it was tough. I was very difficult. [Coach] Juan Carlos [Ferrero] had a tough time, because I was really disorganised. And I still am, just a bit less!

“I didn’t control my emotions well and I didn’t have my head straight.”