Carlos Alcaraz reflects on playing Rafael Nadal in Madrid

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Carlos Alcaraz reflects on playing Rafael Nadal in Madrid

Rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz got demolished by fellow compatriot Rafael Nadal for his 18th birthday but still he was in good spirits after the match. Alcaraz, who received a wildcard for the Madrid Masters, won a total of three games against Nadal as the record 13-time French Open champion won 6-1 6-2 to progress into the Madrid Masters round-of-16.

Alcaraz felt the nerves early on as Nadal started the match with back-to-back breaks and a 5-0 lead. Alcaraz served out the sixth game to get on the board but it didn't change much as Nadal served out for the opener in the seventh game.

Nadal also started the second set with back-to-back breaks but Alcaraz got one break back in the fourth game to reduce the deficit to 3-1. But Nadal quickly found himself again up by two breaks as he claimed another break in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead.

Nadal failed to convert his first match point in the seventh game but served out for the match in the eightj game. "I'm very happy to spend my birthday learning from the best," Alcaraz said, per Jose Morgado.

"This match showed me how to manage the tough moments and know how to play against these kind of players. If I could play more matches like this I would grow up faster as player "Before the match we didn't talk but after he wished me a good birthday and told me to continue to work hard."

Still a good campaign for Alcaraz

Alcaraz, who beat Adrian Mannarino in the Madrid first round, clinched his maiden Masters win this week.. "I am really, really happy. This is a special win for me here in Spain, here at La Caja Magica,” Alcaraz said in his post-match interview after beating Mannarino. “[To] win a Masters 1000 match here is amazing”.