Carlos Alcaraz beats idol Rafael Nadal in Madrid

Teenager Carlos Alcaraz beat idol Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal of the Madrid Masters

0
446
Carlos Alcaraz beat idol Rafael Nadal on Madrid's clay courts

Teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz beat idol Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal of the Madrid Masters on Friday.

Alcaraz, who turned 19 a day earlier, overcame an injury scare to defeat Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in a topsy-turvy clash in the Spanish capital.

ALSO READ: Why Novak Djokovic split with long-time coach Marian Vajda

The Spaniard withstood a trademark Nadal fightback and a nasty second-set fall on the Madrid clay to prevail in an absorbing two-hour, 29-minute encounter.

He now faces another legend, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, in the semifinal. Djokovic defeated Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day.

Sharpen your backhand with our FREE guide

The teen sensation has recorded a few firsts in 2022, like winning his first Masters title in Miami and breaking into the top-10.

Friday’s win over Nadal wasn’t just his first over the 21-time major champion but it was also the first time that a teenager had beaten Nadal on clay.

ALSO READ: ‘Bit of respect,’ Rafael Nadal coach tells Patrick Mouratoglou

Alcaraz was untouchable in the opening set, striking 19 winners as Nadal struggled to match the quality and intensity of his opponent’s game.

Alcaraz held on for 1-1 in the second set before a slip in the next game left him requiring treatment for an ankle injury.

ALSO READ: Naomi Osaka in Wimbledon mixed doubles tease

Nadal’s improved hitting won him 20 of the final 22 points of the set to level the match as Alcaraz struggled to regain his early momentum.

Nadal appeared to have the upper hand as he chased a 12th semi-final appearance in Madrid, but his younger opponent showcased resilience that the master would be proud of.

ALSO READ: Andy Murray consoles Dominic Thiem after win

A reenergised Alcaraz struck the ball with authority to take the deciding set and reach the semi-finals in Madrid for the first time.

The win takes Alcaraz to his third Masters 1000 semifinal and extends his winning streak against Top 10 opponents to five.

LEAVE A REPLY