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“I’m happy to have somebody like him from my country”: Nadal on Alcaraz

19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz beat his childhood idol and fellow Spaniard, Rafa Nadal, at the Madrid Open last week. He’s looking at a bright future already.

Jennifer Bubel

Carlos Alcaraz turned 19 years old on Thursday, then spent the next three days beating three tennis greats - World No. 4 Rafa Nadal (in three sets), World No. 1 Novak Djokovic (in three sets), and World No. 3 Alexander Zverev (in two sets) to win the Madrid Open. Alcaraz became the youngest player to beat three of the world’s top five players at one event since the start of the ATP Tour in 1990.

Alcaraz is widely considered one of the most talented and exciting players to watch in men’s tennis right now, and in recent years. He is currently world No. 6 after adding around 1,000 points to his ATP ranking last week.

“It’s normal that he’s receiving a lot of attention,” said Nadal. “First, he’s young. He’s new. And all the new things are much more interesting than older things.”

Even after Alcaraz beat Nadal, he still stood and clapped and cheered for his long-time idol who he met as a young boy, not knowing he would someday out-play him to win a tournament at the young age of 19.

Alcaraz is the youngest player to win five ATP Tour titles since Nadal (who was 18) in 2005, four of which came this year in 2022. Djokovic was the last player to accomplish what Alcaraz did at the Madrid Open. Djokovic was 20 when he beat Roger Federer, Nadal, and Andy Roddick in 2007.

“I’m happy to have somebody like him from my country achieving all the things that he is achieving,” said Nadal.


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