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Rafael Nadal

made his debut as a professional on the ATP circuit when

Carlos Alcaraz

(El Palmar, Murcia, 2003) was one year old.

16 later, the Murcian sought in Paris the dream of being able to face him in his first ATP tournament:

Roland Garros


He could not achieve it and fell in the first match of the previous round, but his explosion has made all eyes turn to the young man who

has jumped 124 places in the ranking in just one month


From 310 to 186 thanks to his first victory in a Challenger, in


at the end of August, where he chained seven victories from the pre-final.

He was about to do it again a week later at


, where he was a finalist.

He is the fourth Spaniard to win a trophy with less than 18 years of age after Nadal,

Nicolás Almagro


Nicola Kuhn

, and the

best sub-19 on the circuit

, with technique, mentality and passion to sneak among the best.

This is how his father, Carlos, a former professional tennis player, and his coach,

Juan Carlos Ferrero

, who opted to be his mentor two years ago describe him.

Carlos barely now has time to stop by the

El Palmar Country Club

, where he grew up with a racket in hand.

His father is the director of the school after his brief stint on the professional circuit.

«I was the 42nd of Spain, child runner-up, Murcia champion ... But in the nationals, he always played me against

Sergi Bruguera

and he gave me for the hair.

I added some ATP point, but he has surpassed me », Carlos Sr. tells EL MUNDO.

Your son's progression has not caught you by surprise.

It is not the result of an obsession to create a champion, but of the accompaniment of what he soon discovered was his passion.

«At five he created a group with two other outstanding children of the club.

He coordinated well, learned very quickly and assimilated everything that you were correcting him


But above all he had passion, "he explains.

«He went to school beating the air with his hand or juggling with the racket.

When we got to the club he would spend hours on the fronton until training time.

I had to get angry to get him out of there.

Passion and perseverance.

"If a blow got into his head ...

He insisted on the willy (blow between the legs) and did not stop until after two or three days it came out

", continues Carlos, who has never wanted to be his coach .

«I learned about the case of Sergi Bruguera and his father Lluis.

They collided a lot and that deteriorated their relationship.

I looked for another formula to be able to enjoy my son ».

Alcaraz, along with Carlos Santos and his partner Pedro Cobacho FAMILY ALBUM

He entrusted the work to

Carlos Santos

, who served as a coach / educator until he was 13 years old, when Alcaraz's talent was already very evident.

“We put him to play with 10-year-olds and in the first tournaments he reached the semifinals.

He played with the number 1 of Murcia, who took two heads from him and had been competing for three years, and made him match.

He gave his face, despite being a tadpole, "he recalls.

Sponsor at age 10

Then another pillar appeared in his career.

“I wanted to take Carlos to a tournament in Pula, Croatia, which is considered the U10 World Championship. He was ready, but I needed someone to help me with the expenses.

And then they introduced me to

Alfonso López Rueda


The general director of

Postres Reina

, a leading Murcian company in dairy desserts, did not hesitate to become a patron of the young promise.

«Your help has been essential.

We put the sticker on his shoulder, but how visible is a 12 or 13 year old?

He did it because he wanted to and has become part of our family.

They are grateful to him because with his support they have been able to

“schedule tournaments just for sporting interest.

Few people can do it today


admits Carlos's father.

With 15 years, projection and economic stability, the boy went to the Equelite de Ferrero academy in Villena.

In him he has found a second father, who has decided to devote himself to shaping the innate qualities of the Murcian.

"He is a dynamic player, with self-confidence, who despite his youth

adapts well to everything, to the ground, to fast play, to get on the net

... I was attracted by the possibility of helping him build himself since he was a child" the former number 1, who flees from the comparison with Nadal.

"I do not like.

It is a very heavy slab and a mistake.

Carlos is going to take his own path », he warns.

Carlos, at the Roland Garros Longines sub-13 FAMILY ALBUM

Ferrero knows what it's like to take off very soon.

«My experience makes me warn him of the dangers, but he has to mature on his own.

He has tennis to get very high and is ambitious.

But he also has a lot to improve


We are going slowly, "adds the now coach, who sees the physical change he has made in the last year as key to his progression.

For now, Paris has already taught him a


: his nerves led him to waste two match balls against

Aleksandar Vukic

and cut off his attempt to reach the final


of the tournament.

"It would not be a mistake to fall in qualifying," said the young tennis player hours before his debut.

Now comes a time for reflection.

Carlos, barely had time this summer to eat a stew with

his mother's



play golf

, a sport that relaxes him and that he shares with Ferrero.

He has been from tournament to tournament with a very high performance and concentrated in the Villena academy cabin.

There he spent the confinement with

Pablo Carreño

as a neighbor, building a

5,000-piece puzzle


The Spaniard was waiting for him in the final table in Paris with open arms, but the Murcian already only thinks about the Challengers of Barcelona and Villena and Stockholm.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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