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“You know, as a fan of tennis, I always watch Rafa playing. I always want to watch the best players in the world playing the tournaments.

“And of course learning from them really close, here in the locker rooms, you know, around the club, the tournament for me is great. When I hear that (Nadal’s possible retirement), for me, it was tough to understand how it’s gonna be without Rafa this year. Hopefully to see him next year that he’s 100 per-cent.”

Alcaraz has long been seen as tennis’ heir to Nadal. However, the youngster, who won his maiden Grand Slam in the US at the backend of last year, refused to be drawn on the comparisons of the pair at the same age. 

He said: “You know, it’s different time when he was 20 years old. I can’t say right now if I’m stronger right now than him at the same age. Of course he did great things at my age, but I can’t answer that question.”