For the first time, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are ranked among the top four. The young Spaniard just needed a few years to rise to the level of one of the world’s top players. Carlos, who is ranked second to Rafa in the ATP standings, has won two Masters 1000 championships this year.
In the 2021 Madrid Masters second round, Nadal and Alcaraz faced up for the first time, competing in front of the home crowd on Carlos’ 18th birthday! With a victory in Madrid, Alcaraz stole Rafa’s record for the youngest player.
However, the 20-time Major champion refrained from accepting any further presents while playing. Nadal advanced to the third round with ease after winning 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 17 minutes. After the match, Nadal and Feliciano López gave the young tennis player, who was thrilled to face off against his idol for the first time, the birthday cake.
Happy birthday, Rafa said, and he urged you to work even more in the years to come. Nadal just made one serve error while winning five breaks by converting 60% of his return chances. Carlos put out a strong effort but was unable to continue because of an early injury.
Alcaraz had advanced significantly under Juan Carlos Ferrero at such a young age, performing brilliantly and winning Umag in July as the youngest Tour winner since 2008. “It was incredible to celebrate my birthday in Madrid by competing against Rafael Nadal in front of the local support.
Although I could have won, it would have been wonderful, I still had fun.”
Carlos Alcaraz wants to compete in the US Open.
Carlos Alcaraz is seeded number two in a Masters 1000 for the first time in his career as a result of the combined absences of Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. Carlos Alcaraz is currently ranked fourth in the world following an incredible first half of the season (only six defeats for six finals contested and four titles won).
A new status that he finds a little challenging to process. I grew up so quickly. I still find it astonishing and didn’t anticipate it at the beginning of the year that I would be seeded number two in a Masters 1000. And to be completely honest, I still find it hard to believe.
I desired it from the beginning of the year, but I didn’t think it was yet achievable “Carlos began by talking about his rigorous training. “I came here a few days before the event started to get accustomed to these courts and I conducted specific effort to adapt to the hard. With the top players in this room, I played points and sets.”