Having enjoyed some rallies with him and played a tie-break, Ferrer said he immediately realised the talent on show: “I’m not saying it to look clever, but right then I saw something special in him, something different to any other player.”
Nadal was the same age as Alcaraz when he broke into the world’s top 10, and Ferrer, a 2013 French Open finalist, said he saw similarities. However, he also warned: “But I don’t like comparing them, because what Rafa has done is huge. He’s a legend of tennis, the best player in history.
“Comparing them would be a big burden for Carlos. He will be a player who has a chance to be the No. 1 in the world. He will have a lot of chances to win Grand Slams, but he has his whole career ahead of him.