In the end, Rafael Nadal resolved with authority his debut at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, where he barely conceded three ‘games’ to his youthful compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. The current world number three left his feelings after his first win of the week at the Caja Mágica: “He has been great.
I have really enjoyed being back in Madrid in front of the most loyal fans in the world for me. I enjoyed playing against them. It was not a comfortable opening game for me, against a promising young man and a great player like Carlos, but I think I played a solid game and I did what I had to do to win the game.
I am happy for my performance today”. “He is playing very aggressive. He has a lot of potential. He is a good young boy. He already has a great level of tennis today, and I think he will be a fantastic player in the near future.
I wish him well. As a Spaniard and as a fan, I really think we need someone like him and it's great to have him here," he added in remarks taken up by" Ubitennis. " In turn, Rafa commented that “when someone his age is capable of doing the things that he is doing, it is because you have something special.
And at the same time he is humble enough to keep working. He is passionate about the game. So I really believe that he will be able to burn stages very soon, very fast. I really think he is a complete player. I mean, he's brave, he's able to go online very often.
He has a good forehand, a great backhand. Of course, he needs to improve the serve a bit, but he is only 18 today, so he has a lot of time ahead of him. Like I said, he's humble enough and he's a hard worker, so I have no doubt that he will."
Rafael Nadal recently revealed that the Madrid Open is the toughest claycourt tournament for him. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the start of his campaign in the Spanish capital, Nadal asserted that "everyone knows" of his struggles at the event.
Rafael Nadal after his win over Alcaraz
"Madrid is the most difficult tournament for me (on clay)," Rafael Nadal said. "Everyone knows that." The 20-time Grand Slam champion spoke very highly of the event during his presser, and claimed that he feels "emotional" every time he plays at his home tournament.
"At the same time, it is one of the most emotional tournaments for me because I play at home," Nadal said. "We will have the opportunity to play in front of the audience again. That means a lot to me."