Carlos Alcaraz addresses arm injury, prospect of facing Rafael Nadal in Madrid final

Alcaraz reveals latest about his chances and also talks candidly about possibly facing Nadal in the Madrid final.

by Dzevad Mesic
Carlos Alcaraz addresses arm injury, prospect of facing Rafael Nadal in Madrid final
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Carlos Alcaraz has indicated that is progressing well from his arm injury and that he should be able to compete at the Madrid Masters but adds that nothing is set in stone as the Spaniard doesn't want to promise his participation and then disappoint the locals. 

Two weeks ago, Alcaraz was spotted practicing in Monte Carlo with his right forearm heavily tapped. After it was also reported that Alcaraz finished early his practice, which sparked major concerns and everything ended with the world No. 3 withdrawing from Monte Carlo. Alcaraz then went to Barcelona but the same thing that happened in Monte Carlo also happened in Barcelona.

Now, Alcaraz is in Madrid - where he is the defending champion - and hoping to finally start his clay season.

“I'm better, the truth is, emotionally I'm very good. When I got off Monte Carlo I tried to do everything possible to be in Barcelona, ​​which was a very nice tournament for me, but I couldn't. It hurt me a lot to miss this tournament,” Alcaraz told Europa Press

“We are doing everything in our power to be able to recover, but I already took it for granted that Barcelona was going to play and it didn't happen, so right now I don't want to take anything for granted."

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Since Alcaraz is the second-seeded in Madrid this year, he has a first-round bye - which means he won't be playing on either Wednesday or Thursday. But if Alcaraz could choose, he would absolutely prefer to have one additional day and start his Madrid campaign on Saturday. 

“I dare say that we are on the right path and if everything goes the same I believe we will be there. Of course it would be better for me to have one more day, of course I would prefer to debut on Saturday, but these things always go to draw, so I will have to deal with what I have to deal with," Alcaraz said.

Alcaraz on the possibility of playing against Rafael Nadal in the Madrid final

Since Alcaraz is placed in the bottom half of the draw and Nadal in the top half of the draw, the 20-year-old Spaniard could potentially meet his idol in the Madrid final. 

Two years ago, Alcaraz clinched his first win over Nadal and it happened in Madrid after he defeated the 22-time Grand Slam champion 6-2 1-6 6-3. Alcaraz and Nadal also played their first match in Madrid in 2021, when Nadal claimed a 6-1 6-2 win.

If Alcaraz and Nadal met again and this time in the Madrid final, the hype around the match would be absolutely huge. But since Alcaraz's participation still hasn't been confirmed and Nadal made his comeback just last week, having a final between them now seems like a long shot. 

But Alcaraz isn't ruling out something like that happening in Madrid as he admits it would be "something special" to play against Nadal in the final at Caja Magica.

“For me it will always mean something special to play with Rafa. Of the three or four times I have played with him, two have been here in Madrid, so for me it would be a pleasure to be able to share the court with him once again, even though I am an opponent," Alcaraz said.

"Nothing is impossible, maybe we will face each other in the final, who knows. This is tennis, anything can happen, each match is different, but as a player and speaking for myself, who in the end is my idol, of course I would be excited to play against him,"

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal
Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Alcaraz on if he is feeling extra pressure over playing in Spain

Since Alcaraz is now widely considered and recognized as one of the top Spanish athletes, naturally there is a lot of attention whenever he is playing in his home country. But so far so good for Alcaraz, who claimed back-to-back titles at the Madrid Masters and the Barcelona Open in 2022 and 2023. 

Now, Alcaraz has shared his secret how he manages to avoid extra pressure when playing in Spain as he tries to have a very positive look on the situation and try to use the fans and everything to his advantage.

“I don't put pressure on myself, I try to transform this situation into something positive. It gives me a lot of energy to play here with my people, with my family, with my team, with my friends, for me that is wonderful. I try to take it as positive energy, that extra motivation to play here, we don't take it as pressure,” Alcaraz said.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

After a first-round bye, Alcaraz is scheduled to start his Madrid campaign against either Alexander Shevchenko or Arthur Rinderknech.

Carlos Alcaraz Rafael Nadal