Rafael Nadal made short work (6-1, 6-2) of his young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, whose birthday it was on Wednesday, in the second round of the Masters 1000 in Madrid. This promising young player therefore celebrated his 18 years with a defeat, of course, but in the face of his idol, too, and a conquered Madrid audience.
A beating on his birthday. Rafael Nadal swept (6-1, 6-2) the young Spanish hope Carlos Alcaraz, 120th in the world, of which he is the idol, in the second round of the Masters 1000 in Madrid on Wednesday. Alcaraz, coached by the former world No. 1 and winner of Roland-Garros Juan-Carlos Ferrero (2003), had offered the right to challenge his prestigious compatriot on the very day of his eighteenth birthday by crushing the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino with the force of his forehand, in the previous round. It was Carlos Alcaraz’s first Masters victory in his fledgling career.
Alcaraz blows out its candles on the court
There will not have been a second today. The step was too high against the best player in history on clay. The young Spanish fell against a wall, Rafael Nadal (13 winning shots, 8 unforced errors) only encountering a slight alert at the start of the first round, with a break point. The second will come only 6-1, 3-0 in his favor. In the meantime, the Mallorcan has recited his tennis, perhaps also taking advantage of the tension that reigned in his opponent. After taking time to take the measure of his opponent, Alcaraz (7 winning strokes, 28 unforced errors) showed very good things in sequences, succeeding in particular in breaking Rafael Nadal.
A glimmer of hope of short duration however since Nadal accelerated immediately to finally conclude in two innings without trembling, on a last authoritative play of service. Carlos Alcaraz will always be able to congratulate himself for having offered more response to his idol at the end of the match where he will not have usurped his status as a nugget of Spanish tennis, with a big punch and a very good mobility on the court. . And to top it off, Carlos Alcaraz was handed a cake from the hands of Feliciano Lopez, before receiving a standing ovation and applause from spectators and Rafael Nadal as he left the court. It is an anniversary that will remain etched in his memory.
Earlier this year in Melbourne, Alcaraz qualified for their first Grand Slam main draw, securing their very first major tournament victory there. Then he reached his first semi-final on the ATP Tour in early April in Marbella, Andalusia. In 2020, at 16, Alcaraz had become the first player born in 2003 to win a match on the main circuit (in February in Rio), the youngest Spaniard to win one since … Nadal again (at 15, in 2002 in Mallorca), also the youngest to beat a top 50 player since Richard Gasquet (in 2003 in Marseille).