Rafael Nadal Congratulates Carlos Alcaraz on U.S. Open Win

Photo: AntoineCouvercelle/Panoramic

Rafael Nadal may not have won the 23rd Grand Slam title as hoped, but he is taking the high road by congratulating Carlos Alcaraz, the winner of the 2022 U.S. Open.

Check out Rafa‘s thoughtful tweet…

Congratulations Carlos Alcaraz for your first Grand Slam and for number 1, which is the culmination of your first great season, which I am sure will be many more.

Great effort Casper Ruud! very proud of you! Tough luck today but amazing tournament and season! Keep going!

Rafa Nadal

Carlitos has become the youngest Grand Slam champion since our champ Rafa, 19, lifted the trophy at Roland Garros in 2005, while he is the youngest US Open titlist since Pete Sampras, 19, in 1990. The 19-year-old is the first teen to be No. 1 in the world, supplanting Australian Lleyton Hewitt as the youngest No. 1 in history.

32 comments

  1. Roger Federer has announced that the Laver Cup will be the end for him and competitive tennis.
    A monumental career to say the least.

    I would not be surprised if Rafa had an advance phone call and that motivated him to start up practice again.

    One last doubles match for Roger and Rafa!

  2. Just heard that Roger Federer announced his retirement after the Laver Cup. Sad, but not unexpected. Even though he’s ending his great career at a tournament he helped to create, it would have been very fitting for his last one to be Wimbledon or Basel, but clearly his knee had other plans.

    Rafa still hasn’t confirmed his participation in the Laver Cup, but I’m sure he’ll make every effort to be there for the last showing of his pal Roger. Please look after your body Rafa, so that we can see you for just a few more years.

  3. Rafa’s classy tweets in recent days come naturally to him because he is looked to as a leader and spokesperson for Men’s Tennis and the pro tour in general. If there is a sports achievement that should be congratulated or the death of a Queen that needs to be acknowledged and mourned then people in the Tennis world will look to him, not Roger, not Serena and certainly not Djokovic. It is a measure of the high regard for Rafa world wide that people pay attention to what he has to say.

    • Congrats to Carlos for achieving his first major title and the youngest #1 ranking. However, the points Carlos needed to achieve the #1 ranking are so low compared to when Roger Federer, Rafa, Djokovic, and Andy Murray were playing. Rafa didn’t get to be #1 until he won both the French open and Wimbledon in the same year (not to mention so many masters 1000 titles in the same year). Rafa’s 2005 was more spectacular with the French open, several more masters 1000 titles, and over 10 titles, yet he was only able to finish as #2. Djokovic became #1 only after winning so many big titles in 2011, including Australian open and Wimbledon. Murray became #1 after winning virtually all the fall titles and atp finals in the same year and one or two slams that year. Carlos had a much easier path to #1 ranking with only one major title, two masters 1000 titles, and two 500 titles. I agree that Carlos still hasn’t won enough big titles to compare with the above group. However, Carlos does bring a new level of excitement to the game and has qualities reminiscent of the above group. I like his game and potential, but give him a few more years and more big titles before making any meaningful comparisons, media – please!

      • I totally agree with you, Rafa fan 25 !!! I had been trying to make understand to some peoples, exactly what you said… but sometimes peoples are so short witted that , the truth doesn’t go through their skull!!! Thank you!!! Rafa fan 25 your comments was right on the money!!!

      • Me too Rafa 25. You have put Alcaraz’ amazing achievements into perspective. He has a considerable way to go before he can be compared with ‘the Big Three’ but shows great promise and, like Rafa, is indeed exciting to watch; which can’t be said of everyone in the top ten.

      • Just saw Carlos alcaraz lost to Felix a a at Davis cup after reaching #1 ranking. It was 6-2 in the third set. Shows alcaraz isn’t consistent enough to maintain very top level. I don’t see Carlos winning as many slams or masters 1000 titles as big 3 unless he has no computer option. The consistency of his top game isn’t quite there.

      • You’re welcome! With Roger Federer’s recent announcement of his upcoming retirement, there have been countless articles lately about Roger’s lofty achievements. He had a 95% win rate in 2005 through 2007 with 2 to 3 slams won every year. That’s why Rafa didn’t get to ascend to the #1 ranking until much later, in 2008 when Rafa won the French open, Wimbledon, and the Olympic gold medal. Roger had set the bar so high in those years for anyone to overtake him! Carlos’ achievements this year is remarkable but need to be put in perspective vs the Big 3.

  4. A classy message from Rafa to both players. Whilst I’m not a fan of Alcaraz, I do respect his enormous talent and recognise that he will only get better. Congratulations to him for winning the US Open – an impressive fortnight. Well done Casper Ruud for reaching the final and playing a very competitive match. Much like Rafa, Casper was so gracious in defeat, giving sincere credit to his opponent, but also finding the positives in his performance. He deserves to lift a slam trophy and I hope that it will be third time lucky for him in the near future.

    Meanwhile I’m glad to see Rafa out on the practice court in Mallorca, as he’s determined not to let the grass grow under his feet. I was convinced that he would shut down his season and focus on his upcoming fatherhood and plan for the AO, but that doesn’t seem the case and I just love his mentality. Fresh from the disappointment in New York, Rafa’s quick to put it behind him and look to the Laver Cup and the rest of the season. All the best going forward champ.

    • Yes, congratulations to both finalists, and to Carlos for also becoming the youngest #1 ATP player in history!!!

  5. While Rafa has always been #1 for me, I appreciate other talented players who are good human beings as evidenced by the way they regard their colleagues and conduct themselves.

    Back in the day, I was totally mesmerized by Pete Sampras. Now it’s Rafa.

    Watching tennis tournaments, I sort of ‘groom’ or speculate on players that have potential. So far I have been right in the persons such as Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, and yes, both Casper Rudd and Carlos Alcaraz, bar Alexandr Dolgopolov, the Ukrainian who possessed weapons to take him further. Unfortunately, he sustained career-ending injuries.. In my own way I am protecting myself from a broken heart for when Rafa retires the same way I had when Pete played his swan song in 2002 US Open.

    It is interesting to note that the tennis world has been predicting the next gen players to take over from the big three/four. This has not happened. Instead, we’ve got eve younger players that have done a ‘turbo boost’ skipping the so-called next generation. Either the next gen weren’t up to par or the Big 3/4 have remained relevant and competitive still in the autumn years of their careers.

    I am simply grateful to watch Rafa for as long as he is able and still enjoys playing.

  6. Thank you NYC for a fun trip🙏❤️ So thrilled Iga won her third GS title👏😁 Congratulations to her and Carlos although I was cheering for Casper.

  7. Well done to both Carlitos and Casper. The world rankings are a bit strange at the moment, because no points were given for Wimbledon, but the players can only take things as they are.

  8. I was wishing for Ruud to win. Somehow really like the youngster. Also like Rafa’s message to him after the final.
    Comparisons on the whole are terrible and to compare Alcarez to Rafa?? NO. Rafa is one of a kind – a class of his own.

  9. Well said Rafa. You must be proud of these two youngsters who are deserving finalists. Carlos is very much his own man and has made a huge statement this year, and no matter what happens in the future his family has said as much. No one can emulate Nadal. He is his own man too with his own style. Both are great champions and comparisons are unfair.

    • I agree with the majority of opinions expressed here. It is a fantastic achievement for Alcaraz (and for Ruud who, I understand, trains at Rafa’s Academy). Alcaraz is indeed a talented and very tough young competitor and has proved that, winning three five set matches en route to the Final. It is premature to put him in the same bracket as Rafa though. Let’s wait to see whether Alcaraz goes on to win 22 Majors. (As we know many of Rafa’s Majors were won against the toughest of competition, namely Federer and Djokovic).

      Rafa is unique in any event. I have followed the Tour closely since the days of McEnroe and Borg and no-one in that time has achieved so much whilst remaining so humble, whilst always behaving impeccably on court and off. A truly outstanding Ambassador for Tennis. There will never be anyone like Rafa and the Tour will never be the same when he eventually retires.

      Best wishes to Rafa for a full recovery from his injuries and hope that all goes well with the forthcoming birth of he and Maria’s first child. When the time comes I am confident that Rafa will enjoy his retirement from the gruelling Tour. He is a very well-rounded young man who will be handle it, surrounded, as he will be, by a very supportive and loving extended family.

  10. We all love Rafa nobody doubts that and we want him to keep winning because he can! Lets share a thought for Roger and Doko who are also great players. As hard as it is we have to accept the new guard has at last come to the table – lets enjoy the memories these 3 guys have left us with I am sure will last forever. Comparing Rafa to Alcaraz well for me there will always only be one Rafa for all he stands for and never having broken a racquet another record I am sure will be impossible to break!!!!!!!!

  11. I’m in total agreement with Jill- daffodils… Carlos Alcaraz have still a long way to go before he can stablished himself as a right number one contender… yes he did, beat a washed out marin cilic and a inexperienced Janick sinner, a surging France Tiafoe … Casper Ruud still doesn’t have the game to beat Carlos Alcaraz… I feel that in this US open all circumstances did align perfectly for Carlos Alcaraz… Rafael out, Novak out, Daniil MDV out, nick Kyrgios out … remember thiem? Very good talented player.. Del potro?? Cilic? Zverev? All of them had been Very good players and Champions!!! Where they are now because of injuries?? Tennis it’s a very unforgiving sport … and yet Rafael Nadal it’s still in tour Rafael Nadal it’s just incomparable!

    • Inexperienced Sinner? He’s had the better of Carlos until now. Tiafoe rising? By now The top three were Multi grand slam champions and #1s I believe, but not just them but others had also won slams before his age. And the ones who were out? Some played AND LOST. There’s been many OTHER times when top players messed tournaments but hardly any one challenged those seasons or years. I wish I could use the word dimwit but I won’t. CARLOS WON NOW CHEW THAT SLOWLY.

      • Markus E, I’m not suffering Alcaraz victoria… I was just stressing out , the many champions , before Alcaraz, that not longer are playing on this moment, because of injuries and because of how unforgiving it’s the tennis sport… and yet Rafael Nadal, regardless of all history of passed injuries, it’s still on tour… so that said, we need to wait and see if, in the future Alcaraz, can live up to that hype… what I’m trying to say it’s that for me Rafael Nadal can retire and I’m going to be super happy, that every thing Alcaraz it’s starting to do now , Rafael Nadal already had done and been there… can you stomach that ?? Because I already did !!! 👋😂🤣

      • Don’t get savvy Markus E !!! We all in this Website are Rafael Nadal fan’s !! This it’s not Carlos Alcaraz website!! Cherry up hombre!!! This it’s about sports and fun

  12. Well said, Rafa! 👏👏

    I was rooting for Ruud even though I just watched the last two games of the match. I thought Ruud could win it. Both are great guys and can’t be sad cause Carlos won. I really hate when people compare Carlos to Rafa, especially some are even going so far and say he will win 30 majors. Putting so much pressure on Carlos all these years.

    I am very happy that Kim Clijsters is the only reasonable person on Eurosport and that she stopped Barbara Schett who were saying that Rafa doesn’t have any points to defend this year so he will do everything to become world No. 1. Lovely Kim told her: No, Rafa surely has more important things in life now, he is going to be a dad, plus he has nothing to prove others.

  13. I love Rafa’s kindness always. Not a big fan of Alcaraz. I’m over the comparisons of him to Rafa simply because he is from Spain. Ridiculous. When Alcaraz has been around as long as our Rafa and shown himself to be the amazing competitor (he’s already trashed many a tennis racket – our Champ = zero) and PERSON Rafa is… after he’s won 22 Grand Slams then we can talk comparisons. I was cheering for Ruud. I always prefer humility. But now we wait to see our Rafa back on the court! I imagine had he been healthy, Rafa would be holding that trophy today.

    • I’m a big fan of Rafa’s, Carlos, thiems tennis and I love Ruud for his attitude and willingness to improve day by day. It’s unfair to expect Carlos to follow in Rafa’s footsteps. He is his own man as is Rafa. They are both great players who are still leaving their mark on the game. For now, congratulations to Carlos who was more consistent this year and deserves the No 1 ranking plus though it was a very close match, Carlos was clutch which is why he won. Simple as that

    • I don’t know what your talking about, Alcaraz is an Amazing guy and an incredible player… he deserved to win today… kudos to you boy!!👍🙏👏💐

    • Rafa is all class and super proud of the two youngsters as he has had connections with both. Can’t wait to have Rafa back on tour fully healthy and competing again. Vamos Champ Rafa!

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