Thanks to Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, Spain has two players in the top-3 of the ATP rankings. Alcaraz and Nadal have been the Players of the Season so far, winning three out of four Majors and making history. US Open champion Alcaraz became the youngest number 1 in the world.
1 and the seventh youngest Major winner of the Open era, surpassed all rivals to set outstanding records. Carlos has played against Rafa twice this year and would love to see the legend again, this time at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Alcaraz understands that it’s probably reserved for the Nadal vs Federer game at some point in the future, although he would love to face his tall compatriot in their capital. Rafa and Carlos met for the first time in March in the Indian Wells semifinals.
They pushed each other to their limits for three hours and 12 minutes before Nadal prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to extend his winning streak and advance to the final.
Carlos Alcaraz would love to face Rafael Nadal in Madrid.
Nadal won just two points more than Alcaraz, taking six breaks from 21 opportunities.
A teenager delivered five breaks from 14 chances, which was not enough to win and stay on course for the title. Rafa and Carlos gave their best in windy conditions, delivering impressive shots and keeping the crowd in suspense.
The rivals stayed neck and neck in the shortest and more advanced rallies and Rafa made the difference with a single break in the deciding set to advance to the final of the 53rd Masters 1000. Carlos remained competitive after the first set and broke in the second set at 4-4.
The youngster held after deuces in game ten to end the set and force a decision after two hours and 21 minutes. Nadal struggled with a rib injury but refused to surrender. The more experienced player broke at net 4-3 in the final set with a volley winner and held at love in the next set with a service winner to advance to the final.
In May, the youngster served his revenge in front of his home crowd in Madrid, defeating the clay court king 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. Nadal hasn’t played for six weeks and Alcaraz took full advantage of that. A teenager dominated in sets one and three to advance to the semifinals and decide the clash against Novak Djokovic.
Carlos defended six out of nine break points and secured four breaks that saw him through. Alcaraz landed 37 winners and restarted set number three to overthrow the sand king and remain on course for the title.