Right now they are the supreme leaders in the men’s game, phenomenal sporting talents from two different generations of tennis, and they are both from the same country. Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal have risen above everyone else, and they aim to stay there.
When the official ATP Tour Rankings list was updated and released at the start of October, Spanish tennis history was made. Alcaraz was already positioned at number one, although when Rafael Nadal climbed up above Casper Ruud and into third position, it created a unique moment in Spanish sporting history.
For the first time in tennis history, two Spaniards hold the top two positions in the ATP rankings, which has calculated the best players in the world since 1973. But having two players at the top of the list is a rare occurrence indeed, given the last time this happened was in August 2000, when American tennis icons Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were one and two.
Alcaraz has quickly made his mark in the tennis world, rising rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest World Number One in ATP Rankings history. “It means a lot to be part of Spanish history, to have two players at the top is crazy,” he enthused. But the 19-year-old also remains humble about his own achievements.
“I think I said at the beginning of the year that the goal was to be in the top fifteen, and now I’m number one,” admitted Alcaraz. “I never thought I would be number one this fast,” he insisted, underlining his focus now remains on having some “good tournaments” until the end of the year. Nevertheless, even the best can hit a few bumps on the road to greatness.
Of course, this is not the result I wanted, but we have to keep working! ?? Thank you Astana for the support! ??
? @ktf_kz pic.twitter.com/mR1YlQvjHC
— Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) October 4, 2022
This is arguably what makes tennis popular when it comes to sports wagering, as international bookmakers calculate their odds ahead of tournaments, including throughout Middle East countries. For this reason Arabian Betting provides information and guides covering every angle, such as the latest sports betting Qatar options accompanied by expert advice.
Choosing where to wager on tennis is one thing, yet while the best players are often expected to dominate, this is a sport which consistently produces many surprises. In the case of Alcaraz, quite literally days after being joined in the top two by Spanish compatriot Nadal, he suffered quite the upset at the Astana Open in Kazakhstan.
The young Spaniard was beaten 7-5, 6-3, By David Goffin of Belgium in the very first round of the tournament, but was the habitual Alcaraz confidence dented by defeat? Well, that was the headline the Reuters news agency chose to run with, although the player himself was rather more philosophical about the loss, eager to use it as a learning experience.
“He played better than me, really, really aggressive,” acknowledge Alcaraz, who claimed his first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open in September. “I couldn’t handle the pressure that he was pushing on me and of course, it’s something that I have to learn and take lessons from,” he suggested, before heading to compete at the ATP 500 event in Basel, Switzerland, later in October.
Rafael Nadal has also been hitting the headlines of late, after images of him alongside Roger Federer, both tearful as the Swiss tennis legend bid farewell to professional tennis. During a touching moment these two giants of the game held hands, both in tears, following their doubles participation at the Laver Cup.
Federer was asked why he grabbed Nadal’s hand during his farewell ? pic.twitter.com/rujWv1sA4x
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) September 29, 2022
Aside from being fierce rivals on tennis courts around the world for the best part of two decades, they also share an incredible mutual respect and close family friendship. Nadal also praised Federer for the “elegance and majesty” maintained throughout his career, both in the sporting sense and on a human level.
But the tears from Nadal could also be indicative of a growing awareness about his own career, particularly after battling through injury problems of his own. This has also been a complicated year because of family matters, Spanish sports media outlet Marca reported recently, with Nadal soon to become a father.
After being presented with the Camino Real award from King Felipe VI of Spain, the duality of recent times was highlighted by Nadal. “For now I’m experiencing both joys and some difficult moments,” he admitted, amidst the news that his wife may give birth prematurely. Nevertheless, there was a cheeky moment of levity from Nadal at the award ceremony.
Having received such a prestigious award from the Spanish monarch, Nadal hinted that his storied time in tennis will continue. “I hope it is not implied with this event and award that my career is over. Far from it…” he insisted jokingly. For now, Nadal remains one of the very best players in the world, albeit just behind the future of Spanish and world tennis in the ATP Rankings.