Carlos Alcaraz failed to beat Rafael Nadal in his first Masters semifinal but two weeks later made another Masters semifinal and this time he managed to go a step further. In Indian Wells, Alcaraz reached his first Masters semifinal before he was handed a 6-4 4-6 6-3 loss by Nadal.
This Friday, Alcaraz played his second Masters semifinal and this time ended on the winning side as the 18-year-old defeated Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3). After beating Hurkacz, Alcaraz was asked what he had learned from the Nadal match.
"Well, it was a great match against Rafa. I think that I played a great match against him. But I think that I learned how to play in in a semifinal in a Masters 1000. It was my first one, so now second one. I managed to do much better than in Indian Wells," Alcaraz explained.
"It was different match, I mean, this one than Rafa's match, but I think that the nerves, the tough moments, I managed better in this one than Indian Wells."
Nadal: Alcaraz is not a kid
Even though Alcaraz is just 18, he is quickly becoming one of the best players on the Tour.
After beating Alcaraz, Nadal offered some high praise for the 18-year-old - who is called by some the new Nadal. "I took it like another semi-final match. He's not a young player that is 100 in the world and is coming. He is a top player already, so I treated it like that, playing against one of the best players in the world," Nadal said.
"It doesn't matter if he's young or not, he's a great guy, an amazing player and he has a fantastic future. I treated it like this, just tried to go on court, try my best and accept all the challenges. I am through and it was a very important victory for me."