Carlos Alcaraz: 'It hurts me to see Rafael Nadal suffer while playing the sport he loves'

Spanish youngster is not enjoying seeing compatriot Rafael Nadal struggling with injury.

Rising sensation Carlos Alcaraz says watching Rafael Nadal suffering with injury 'hurts' him and the rest of tennis.

The 19 year old has long been hailed as Nadal's natural successor as the crown jewel of Spanish tennis, and this season he has really added substance to those claims.

Alcaraz has risen to number six in the world rankings after winning four titles already in 2022, including the Madrid Masters where he beat both Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Nadal, meanwhile, is clearly suffering due to a degenerative foot problem and his injury was very apparent during his early exit at the Rome Masters last week.

Speaking about Nadal's recent injury problems, Alcaraz said: "Nobody likes to see Nadal like this, he is a reference for everyone and it hurts me to see him suffer while playing the sport he loves. It hurts us all.

"I know he had a few days to recover and I believe that in Paris he will be competitive again."

Speaking after losing to Dennis Shapovalov in Rome, Nadal addressed the very obvious injury concerns given his clear discomfort on court.

"I am not injured," Nadal claimed. "I am living with an injury. My day by day is difficult.

Alcaraz and Nadal shake hands after the match

"I imagine there will come a time when my head will say 'enough'.

"Pain takes away your happiness, not only in tennis but in life. And my problem is that many days I live with too much pain.

"[Roland-Garros is] still the goal, in one week and a couple of days. I'll still keep dreaming.

"Maybe in two days, things are better, the things that I have on my foot. It's true that during Roland Garros I'm going to have my doctor with me - that sometimes helps."

Many consider Alcaraz to be a genuine favourite for the French Open despite his age, with the likes of Mats Wilander declaring him the biggest challenger to Djokovic at Roland Garros.

Alcaraz himself sustained a minor ankle injury at the Madrid Masters, but he is expecting to be in top condition to challenge for what would be a maiden major.

"I'm preparing, training, getting my foot back and little by little I'm feeling better," Alcaraz said.

"I go to Paris with confidence because I think I have a chance."

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