‘I’m happy to spend my 18th birthday learning from the best,’ says Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz got a special present for this 18th birthday, his first ever match against childhood idol Rafael Nadal.

While it was always going to be an uphill battle for the young Spaniard, ranked 120th in the world, he took satisfaction from the opportunity and said he would use it to learn and develop.

And 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal certainly taught him a lesson, with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 win, but at least Alcaraz can take away one plus from the match, he managed to break Nadal’s serve in the second set.

Nadal is now on course for his sixth Madrid Masters title and will face Alexei Popyrin in the next round.

Meanwhile Alcaraz was reflective after the match and said he was pleased to spend his birthday on court.

“Before the match we didn’t talk but after he (Nadal) wished me a good birthday and told me to continue to work hard.”

“This match showed me how to manage the tough moments and know how to play against these kind of players.

“If I could play more matches like this I would grow up faster as player.”

After the match a large birthday cake was brought on to court by tournament director Feliciano Lopez for the youngster in celebration of his coming of age.

“I’m very happy to spend my birthday learning from the best,” Alcaraz concluded.

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?

Related news

Stay Connected

4,073FansLike
247FollowersFollow
2,652FollowersFollow

Latest Articles

MONDAY MAILBAG: Was Rafael Nadal the true Wimbledon ‘bully,’ not Nick Kyrgios?

In Monday Mailbag this week, we take a look at a controversy-filled Saturday and Wimbledon and ask whether Rafael Nadal should have been the one accused of 'bullying,' not Nick Kyrgios

Andy Murray told to earn his Great Britain Davis Cup spot by captain Leon Smith

If Andy Murray wants to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup in Glasgow this year, Leon Smith says he will have to earn his place like everyone else.

Novak Djokovic: ‘I watched Tim van Rijthoven play and I knew it would be a good fight’

Novak Djokovic says he made sure he learned all he could about Tim van Rijthoven before their Wimbledon clash as he knew he was in for 'a tough matchup'

FEATURE: Three things we wouldn’t change about Wimbledon, and three things we would

FEATURE: With Novak Djokovic saying he has 'heard' that Wimbledon may be about to modify its scheduling policy, here are three things we wouldn't change about Wimbledon, and three things we would.

Roger Federer admits injury ‘has been rough on him’ as he confirms plans for Wimbledon return

Roger Federer says he 'hopes' to have one last Wimbledon in him, but he admits his knee injury has been much worse than he expected.