It wasn’t too way back that Rafael Nadal was handing Carlos Alcaraz a PlayStation because the boy’s prize at a neighborhood tennis event in Spain.
Now the Spanish nice is about to play in opposition to the promising teen within the second spherical of the Madrid Open.
The 17-year-old Alcaraz defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-Four 6-Zero on Monday to arrange the “dream” matchup in opposition to the 20-time grand slam champion.
Alcaraz will face his idol on the Magic Field heart court docket on Wednesday, his birthday.
“It will likely be a dream come by way of to play in opposition to Rafa right here,” Alcaraz stated.
“I’ve wished to play in opposition to him since I used to be a child. There can be no higher approach than whereas celebrating my 18th birthday.”
Alcaraz, who’s competing in Madrid on a wild card, turned professional in 2018 and has been thought of by many as Spain’s successor to 34-year-old Nadal. They practiced collectively on the Australian Open, the place Alcaraz reached the second spherical.
He received the under-12 title in Madrid in 2015, and two years later reached the ultimate within the under-16 occasion. A number of years in the past, Alcaraz and different children acquired PlayStations from Nadal after competing in a event.
“I’ll attempt to be as relaxed as potential,” the 120th-ranked Alcaraz stated. “I’ll attempt to play my recreation and to continue learning and preserve having enjoyable.”
In different early spherical matches, Daniel Evans defeated Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (6) 6-7 (7) 6-2, and Danis Shapovalov bought previous Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-3.
Fabio Fognini, who was disqualified from the Barcelona Open due to foul language, defeated Spanish qualifier Carlos Taberner 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-Three to arrange an all-Italian conflict in opposition to Matteo Berrettini within the second spherical.
John Isner defeated Miomir Kecmanovic 6-Four 7-6 (6), whereas fellow American Reilly Opelka misplaced to Dominik Koepfer 6-Four 6-4. Different US gamers who received had been Marcos Giron and Tommy Paul.
Within the ladies’s draw, top-ranked Ashleigh Barty defeated French Open champion Iga Swiatek 7-5 6-Four in a round-of-16 match, whereas Spaniard Paula Badosa bought previous Anastasija Sevastova 6-7 (0) 7-6 (3) 6-0.
Petra Kvitova defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-Three 4-6 6-4, whereas eighth-seeded Belinda Bencic superior after Ons Jabeur retired.