Darwin Blanch, 16, confesses how he felt inside during Rafael Nadal match in Madrid

Blanch won just one game in his Madrid debut against Nadal.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Darwin Blanch, 16, confesses how he felt inside during Rafael Nadal match in Madrid
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Promising American Darwin Blanch admitted he felt "really nervous and stressed" while playing against Rafael Nadal in front of a sold-out crowd at the Madrid.

On Thursday, 16-year-old Blanch made his Madrid debut and it was quite something since he was drawn to face the greatest clay courter in his opening match. But against Nadal, Blanch expectedly stood no chance as the four-time Madrid champion sealed a 6-1 6-0 win. 

"I was really nervous. Really nervous, but I was just telling myself just to go and enjoy it, do the best I could, and I was going to be proud of myself, however the match went," Blanch confessed after the match.

Darwin Blanch
Darwin Blanch © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Blanch on feeling 'pretty stressed' against Nadal 

Blanch - who is represented by IMG - was playing in a main-level tournament for the second time after also competing in Miami last month. Meanwhile, Nadal returned to Madrid for the first time since 2022 and the atmosphere was electric since he is likely having his last appearance at Caja Magica.

"I was pretty stressed for a person my age, so this is something that I still have to get used to all this atmosphere. Playing Nadal in a stadium like this, it was never going to be easy," Blanch said.

Darwin Blanch and Rafael Nadal
Darwin Blanch and Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

After falling down by an early break, Blanch managed to serve out the fourth game and get on the board and reduce the deficit to 1-3. From that point on, it was a total Nadal domination as the Spaniard won the next nine games to complete his win with just one game lost. 

On paper, it was a brutal loss for Blanch but still something that he will never forget. 

"Yeah, it was really good, honestly. I know a lot of kids my age don’t really get to experience that with all those people around. So it felt really nice being able to experience that and it felt really, really good," Blanch said.

Rafael Nadal
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