Carlos Alcaraz looks ready for a great 2024. Maybe when he played Novak Djokovic in an exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week the result did not matter in the grand scheme of things, but that he beat Djokovic in three sets should give Alcaraz even more confidence to begin the coming year. This is especially true after Djokovic took three of four matches from Alcaraz in 2023.
One player we are not sure what form they will be in is Rafael Nadal. Nadal is an all-time great, of course, but he injured his hip in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open and missed the rest of the year. Taking 12 months off from competitive tennis is difficult to come back strong from, even for a player like Nadal.
But Carlos Alcaraz says he has seen enough of Nadal from practice videos and heard enough comments from other players who have seen Nadal for Alcaraz to expect Nadal to be competing for titles much sooner than some others expect. Nadal could have a tough time early in 2024, but Alcaraz doesn't seem to think so.
Boris Becker responds to Carlos Alcaraz's comments about Rafael Nadal
According to a tweet from The Tennis Letter and from an article from the Riyadh Press, Alcaraz said of Nadal, "I think he's ready. I saw some videos of him practicing. He looks 100 percent...I think he's ready for great things this year..."
Now this could be Carlos Alcaraz supporting his fellow Spaniard and saying nice things. It's not like Alcaraz is going to say, "I would be surprised if Rafael Nadal ever makes a tournament final again." That would be newsworthy, of course, but also likely very wrong.
But as Boris Becker seems to be aware of everything that happens anywhere, and while Becker himself has said he thinks Nadal will need to "suffer" a little early in the year before regaining excellent form, Becker tweeted his seeming approval of Alcaraz's summation of Nadal. And the one word response was perfect.