On his 18th birthday, Carlos Alcaraz had the honor and the burden of facing his greatest idol for the first time in his career: Rafael Nadal. The most exciting game of his life turned out to be even more complicated than expected due to the slight abdominal injury suffered during a magnificent exchange won with the muscles by Nadal.
The young Spanish talent started with courage and immediately had the chance to break the 20-time Grand Slam champion, but the forehand sent under the net reduced his expectations and added the number one to the entry "Nadal"
The Majorcan conceded the crumbs to the player born in 2003, who only won the sixth game, and brought the first set to his side. In the second set, things didn't change and Nadal never lost his fighting spirit despite the clear advantage.
Unlike the first portion of the game, Alcaraz took away the satisfaction of snatching the serve from world number two in the fourth game by finding the lines with the forehand. However, Alcaraz left the field to applause; that field that in the future can give him great satisfaction.
Five-time Madrid Open champion Rafael Nadal recently spoke about a wide range of topics at his pre-tournament press conference. Nadal gave his thoughts about the epic semifinal encounter against Novak Djokovic in 2009, and also touched upon what makes the city of Madrid special.
Rafael Nadal on his epic battle with Djokovic
"It's just that I was with quite a lot of problems in the knee," Rafael Nadal said. "But in the end, good being able to play at home. It was a nice experience.
I think it went well and I could come and play the game for four hours," Nadal said. "I remember the semifinal match against Novak was very exciting, [really] good at the end. I don't know if it was a setback, he generally plays here at a very good level.
Madrid is an atmosphere always in the positive. I think that the people of Madrid are very sociable," the Spaniard said. Rafael Nadal then claimed that although the city has every luxury to offer, the natives still like to follow their own unique interests wherever they can find them.
"They want to do things apart from Madrid, on their own. Even though it is a beautiful city," Nadal quipped. Tennis star Rafael Nadal is one of the most beloved sporting personalities in the world. After being involved with tennis for close to two decades, the Spanish veteran has motivated a number of youngsters to develop a liking for the sport. Over the years, he has become a true representative of the game.