On his 18th birthday, Spanish rising star Carlos Alcaraz will lock horns with his idol none other than Rafael Nadal at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. The home ATP Masters 1000 event’s second-round match will be the first meeting between a teenager prodigy and a legend.
“Rafa Is One of My Childhood Idols”, says Carlos Alcaraz
In the opening encounter, wildcard entrant Alcaraz stunned World No.34, Adrian Mannarino, in straight sets(6-4, 6-0). Rafael Nadal will now play his first match since the Barcelona Open Final.
Speaking ahead of Rafael Nadal clash at home soil, Carlos Alcaraz said, “It’s the best present for my birthday. It’s a dream come true. To play against Rafa here in Madrid in front of the Spanish crowd, I will never forget this moment, and I will learn from him.”
“I don’t know how to describe this feeling now. It’s a dream come true,” the NextGen Spaniard added.
Alcaraz continued, “They always say the 18th birthday is special, but it will be even more special to turn 18 playings against one of the best tennis players of all time, and the best for me.”
“Rafa is one of my childhood idols. It’s going to be very special. There will be many comparisons. I’m sure they’ll talk about Rafa and me. They will compare the new generation with the legend.”
“But I’ll try to give my best. I have to play my game, try to keep improving and enjoy it. I’ll stick with my feelings on court. I’ll be nervous, but I’ll try to play as relaxed as possible and give my absolute best.”
“I’m working to manage the nerves. In the difficult moments, I try to be aggressive and play my style.”
“I’m improving step by step, and these kinds of matches are helping me a lot to grow. I’ll use each difficult moment that arises in matches to keep improving.”