ATP Madrid: Rafael Nadal to face Carlos Alcaraz on youngster's 18th birthday



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ATP Madrid: Rafael Nadal to face Carlos Alcaraz on youngster's 18th birthday

Ranked outside the top-300 last August, the 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz made a name for himself after claiming three Challenger titles, moving closer to a place in the top-100 and setting big goals ahead of 2021. Carlos qualified for the Australian Open in January and became the youngest player with a Major victory since Thanasi Kokkinakis in 2014.

In Marbella, a teenager reached the semi-final as the youngest player in the last four since Alexander Zverev in 2014, gathering a boost and earning his first Masters 1000 triumph in front of the home fans at Madrid Open.

Alcaraz took down Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-0 in 71 minutes to set the second-round clash against the 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal on his 18th birthday! The youngster dropped ten points in eight service games, never facing a break point and mounting the pressure on the other side of the net.

Mannarino couldn't follow that pace, giving away over half of the points in his games and losing serve four times to propel the rival through.

Carlos Alcaraz toppled Adrian Mannarino for his first Masters 1000 victory.

Carlos had 24 winners and 17 unforced errors, controlling the rallies and reducing the opponent to four direct points!

The Spaniard had a massive advantage in the shortest and more extended rallies, securing an early break and never looking back before the finish line. Alcaraz broke a left-hander in the opening game and cemented it when Adrian sprayed a forehand mistake in game two.

The Frenchman saved two break points in the third game to get his name on the scoreboard but couldn't do anything on the return in the following games, with Carlos opening a 5-3 lead following three comfortable holds.

Mannarino saved a set point in game nine with a service winner before Alcaraz placed a backhand crosscourt winner in game ten for 6-4. The Spaniard broke at love at the beginning of the second set to gain an even bigger boost and held with a forehand winner for a 2-0 advantage.

Mannarino suffered another break in game three and found himself 5-0 down when Carlos fired a forehand winner in game five. Serving for the victory, the youngster closed game six with a forehand winner, celebrating his first Masters 1000 triumph and setting the clash against his idol Rafael Nadal.