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In a plea for the future of the Spanish team in the Davis Cup , Rafa Nadal recognized minutes after lifting the sixth Salad Bowl that "we need relief." Four of the five players sitting in the press room of the Magic Box were over 30 years old. Only Pablo Carreño , with 28, is saved from what Nadal calls " an advanced age for a tennis player ". "We are not Canada," he lamented, considering that at the end of the tournament they had faced Denis Shapovalov (20 years and number 15 of the world) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (19 years and number 21 of the world).

The one in Manacor referred to the lost generations, "one or two", in reference to the players with certain potential who, due to some circumstances or others, have stayed on the road or have failed to live up to expectations: " Spain is a powerful country and we have to trust young people, "he claimed.

But who are the young people Nadal refers to? Of the ten Spanish players who are currently ranked in the Top 100 of the ATP, four are under 30 years old. The aforementioned Carreño, 27th; Roberto Carballés, from 26 and 80º of the world; Majorcan Jaume Munar , 22, number 86; and Alejandro Davidovich from Malaga, the youngest, 20 years old and 87º of the ranking. They overcome the thirty Nadal (33), Bautista (31), Ramos (31), Verdasco (36), Feliciano (38) and Andújar (33).

Munar , raised in the Rafa Nadal Academy of Mallorca , lost in 2017 the final of Roland Garros Junior against Andrey Rublev, a member of Russia in the last Davis. The one from Mallorca has settled in the circuit in this 2019: he got his best place in the standings in May, reaching 52º: he fell in the first round of the main draw of the Australian Open, won his first victory over Marrakech in Zverev in Marrakech a Top 10 He lost in the final of the Seville Cup in September, precisely against Davidovich and won in Montevideo to lift the fourth Challenger title of his career.

Davidovich , meanwhile, won the Wimbledon Junior in 2017. From a Swedish father and a Russian mother, he was born in Malaga and lives in Fuengirola, and is having a great season finale. With 20 years, he has achieved in October the best classification of his career, the 82nd place in the ATP ranking after beating Munar in the final of Seville. In addition, he was a finalist for the Genoa Challenger, won the Liuzhhou in China and played the prestigious Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan , which host the best youngsters on the circuit every year. In them, he was defeated against players with better rankings than him, De Miñaur (18), Ruud (56) and Kecmanovic (60), but he was shown as one of the rackets to consider in the future.

Beyond the Top 100 , we find in position 215 Nicola Kuhn , of German father and Russian mother, raised in the academy of Juan Carlos Ferrero and finalist, although with Germany, of the Davis Davis Cup of 2015 held in the Magic Box of Madrid. Opposite, curiosities of life, was the Canada of Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime. Kuhn left Ferrero Academy and began playing Futures and Challenger tournaments, being a finalist for Roland Garros Junior in 2017. This year he fell in the previous Australian Open and won the title in the Segovia tournament.

But the great hope of Spanish tennis has a name and surname: Carlos Alcaraz , who in 16 years and two months in July won the first Futures title of his career. He is the second youngest Spaniard to achieve something like this after Nadal himself, who in 2002 beat Alicante in 16 years and one month. Tutored by Juan Carlos Ferrero and sparring of Federer in Wimbledon, the Murcia is playing Challenger tournaments like the one in Seville, where he reached the quarterfinals, and is the youngest of the ATP circuit , where he has gotten into the Top-500 an age at which very few achieve it. Djokovic and Federer, for example, had to wait to turn 17.

Ferrero: "A reset is required"

Ferrero himself defines EL MUNDO the virtues and defects of Alcaraz : "Despite the youth he has, his tennis level is very high. He likes to play on practically all surfaces, he has already played Challenger tournaments and next year we have quite important goals. He is a player who can be one of the very good ones , but you have to get along well, he can respond calmly because he has already done a lot of hype around him, and he learns how to handle these things "

On the future of Spanish tennis, the one that was number 1 in the world relies on the talent of the new generation, but warns, logically, that reaching the level of the players of the last two decades will be almost impossible mission: "I do not I would call them heirs . Hope better, "he summarizes.

"Those who come behind have a difficult ballot to solve . We come from three numbers 1, many top ten, a player with 18 Grand Slams ... We are looking for heirs and qualifiers that are difficult to solve. They have to take an example of what that has been, but not to be anyone's shadow . They have to make their way because if we have been able to get there, they too. I think they have enough talent, but you have to do a reset and forget about comparisons. Look at Rafa's values , from Ferru, mine ... Not saying "Rafa has won 18 Grand Slam, to see when I won first . That comes when it comes ... If it comes, "he analyzes. Word number 1 in the world.

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