For the first time, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are rated in the top four. Only a few years were necessary for the young Spaniard to surpass many of the finest players in the world. Carlos, who is currently ranked second in the ATP Race behind Rafa, has won two Masters 1000 championships this year.
In the second round of the 2021 Madrid Masters, Nadal and Alcaraz faced up for the first time, competing in front of the home crowd on Carlos’ 18th birthday! Alcaraz defeated Rafa in Madrid to take the record for the youngest player.
Even so, the 20-time Major champion refrained from continuing to shower him with gifts during the contest. In an hour and 17 minutes, Nadal defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the third round.
In Madrid last year, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz had their first encounter.
After the match, Nadal and Feliciano Lopez gave the little player a birthday cake. The player was overjoyed to face off against his idol for the first time.
Happy birthday, Rafa said, and he urged him to put forth even more effort in the years ahead. Nadal only dropped his service once and converted five breaks (60 percent of the return points) into breaks to advance. Carlos put out a strong effort but was unable to continue because of an early injury.
Working with Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz had made enormous strides at such a young age. He played well and won Umag in July, becoming the Tour’s youngest champion since 2008! “It was incredible to celebrate my birthday in Madrid by competing against Rafael Nadal in front of the local support.
Even though I could have won, it would have been better, I still had fun. He has taught me a lot, and this game will advance my playing abilities. I have to learn how to handle significant situations and contend with superior competitors. If I have the chance to compete in more games against Rafa, I should mature and improve my abilities more quickly.
This is a wonderful way to spend my birthday. I didn’t speak to Rafa prior to the match. He wished me a happy birthday and urged me to keep working hard once we were done “said Carlos Alcaraz.