The celebration shortly misplaced its vibe. On his 18th birthday, Carlos Alcaraz confronted his lifelong idol, his compatriot Rafael Nadal, in the second round of the Madrid match. Expected because the rising star of Spanish tennis, Alcaraz was measured for the primary time in his profession towards his mannequin and he didn’t actually succeed in influencing the course of the assembly, shedding in straight units (6-1 , 6-2).
Posing all smiles on the court docket for the photograph in the beginning of the assembly, the younger Spaniard noticed the dream proceed for a number of moments whereas providing himself a break level, unconverted. But he shortly got here again all the way down to earth by conceding his service in the wake then by scare the abs in the third recreation. Worried, he requested for the intervention of the physiotherapist however managed to proceed this assembly that everybody had been ready for because the draw by lot.
A cake to have fun the tip of the match
What adopted was for a very long time a lesson between a Nadal who missed nothing, or nearly, and an Alcaraz a bit too feverish to supply a duel to the spectators who got here to observe this duel of generations. A single profitable shot on the finish of the primary set towards 13 unforced errors, it was after all removed from the account for the protege of Juan Carlos Ferrero. The second set shortly took the identical path and Nadal stood out 3-0.
This is the second that Alcaraz selected to unencumber his arm somewhat extra and loosen his blows. He bent the world No. 2 on a long-line forehand acceleration, clenched his fist, earlier than placing it again on the subsequent level to make his late break once more. But Nadal shortly calmed the opposing hearth by resuming his white service behind. The castagne was nevertheless extra delicate than through the first hour of play however the Mallorcan was too good in his tennis to go away the slightest hope to his opponent.
He concluded after 1 h 17 spent on the court docket earlier than going to greet his younger compatriot. Feliciano Lopez was approaching with an enormous chocolate cake to have fun Alcaraz. New pose. New photograph for the objectives between the 2 opponents of the day. And behind his masks, it seemed just like the 18-year-old had discovered a smile once more.