Carlos Alcaraz has come out in defense of Rafael Nadalwho recently became an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation(STF): The Murcian believes that it is positive that the sport that they both practice reaches more countries.
In a press conference held in Buenos Aires on the occasion of his participation in the IEB+ Argentina Openwhere he defends the crown achieved in 2023, the number 2 in the world was asked about the criticism received by the 22-time Grand Slam champion after associating with the Arab country.
“I’ve heard some criticism, but Rafa has decided to sign as an ambassador. To me, personally, I don’t think it’s bad…”
“I have heard some criticism, but Rafa has decided to sign as an ambassador. To me, personally, it doesn’t seem bad… Ambassador of tennis if I have understood correctly. It is a country that is developing, opening up to the world of sport and what “It’s better that Rafa gets in there to open up to places that were never played before. We, the players, try to attract more people to watch tennis,” said the champion of the US Open 2022 and of Wimbledon 2023.
Carlitos believes that “it is good for tennis that there are more venues”: “I think that Arabia It is a country that is evolving very quickly in every sense and in the world of sports there are a lot of events. “I think it’s good for the sport in general.”
On January 15, Nadal was announced as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation (STF) “as part of a long-term commitment to help the growth of this sport and inspire a new generation of athletes in Saudi Arabia.”
The former world number 1 was highly questioned about this agreement, among other issues, due to the questioned human rights policy in Saudi Arabia.
The Games above Roland Garros
In the sporting field, Alcaraz has acknowledged that he would like “the Olympic title” in Paris 2024 ahead of Roland Garros: “For me it is a dream to win (the title) for my country, I think gold is one of the greatest things in sport.”
Of course, Roland Garros is a tournament that he would be “very excited” to win: “Let’s hope to improve that result (semifinals). I don’t feel like I should win it or have that thorn in my side for not winning it yet. It’s a very nice tournament, very special for all Spaniards and it would be a dream to win it. But for me it is like any other Grand Slam.”
Djokovic and Sinner, the rivals to beat
When analyzing the current panorama on the ATP circuit, Alcaraz also recognizes that the Serbian Novak Djokovic and the Italian Jannik Sinnerrecent winner of the Australian Open, “are the rivals to beat” both for him and for everyone.
“In the end, all games are tough, all opponents can make the game difficult for you. Zverevfor example, is a rival that I have very much in mind, but it is true that Djokovic and Sinner are at the top for me,” said the tennis player from El Palmar de 20 years.
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