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Melbourne10 minutes agoAuthor: Matthew Futerman
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- Nadal trained with Alkraj before the tournament started.
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal would like to hold the record for the most number of men to have won 21 Grand Slams by winning the first Grand Slam Australian Open of the year. But there is another reason why they are under discussion.
Just before the start of the Australian Open, Nadal decided to practice with 17-year-old player Carlos Alkraj of his own country. Earlier, Alkraj had defeated world number 13 David Goffin of Belgium in a warm-up match last week, after which the discussion of ‘Next Rafa’ started in Melbourne Park.
Alkraj is the youngest player to participate in the Australian Open men’s singles this year. They have also reached the Grand Slam main draw for the first time. Nadal said of him, ‘He has speed, he has passion, he has great shots.’ Nadal believes that Alkraj is a future star. Nadal said, “He is very young, he is very good and works hard.” Training with Nadal was not easy for Alkraj.
Nadal also practices, such as playing the final of the Grand Slam. Alkaraj had no answer to his four hands and back hands. 17-year-old Alkraj is still in high school. He won the first match in straight sets.
Prediction is not right from such a young age
A few years ago, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria was compared to Roger Federer. He was called ‘Baby Fed’ for his all-round game. But 29-year-old Dimitrov is yet to reach the final of any Grand Slam. They have lost in the semi-finals of Australia Open, French Open and US Open.