Rafael Nadal was 19 years and a little over four months old when, in October 2009, he became the youngest Madrid Masters champion. A record he lost last week when compatriot Carlos Alcaraz scored four victories and became the youngest Madrid masters finalist at 19 years and three days old.
Strong, determined, and dynamic, Alcaraz also beat two-time champion Alexander Zverev 6-3 and 6-1, in the same week that he played and won against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
In the second round, he beat Nikoloz Basilashvili, and he took down Cameron Norrie thus entering the quarter-final. In the end, he also prevailed over his idol Rafael Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, thus earning a spot in the semi-finals.
In the opening set, Nadal got broken three times but in the second, Alcaraz injured his ankle, allowing Nadal to recover. However, in the decider game, the teenager bounced back and emerged the winner.
In the semi-final, Alcaraz could also beat Novak Djokovic. During the three hours and 35 minutes of the Caja Magica, Alcaraz was the most aggressive player, and he won 6-7, 7-5, 7-6.
Earlier this year, Nodal himself expressed his pride in Carlos Alcaraz, recognizing his talent and dedication.
“I think he’s unstoppable in terms of his career. He has all the ingredients. He has passion. He’s humble enough to work hard. He’s a good guy,” Nadal had said. He had also expressed how much Alcaraz reminded him of his younger self.
“He has the talent and the physical component, and that’s great. And I am super happy, even, of course, he’s going to be a great rival for now and for the next couple of months, without a doubt,” he predicted.
Carlos Alcaraz also commented on his performance, saying he was confident for the next tournament.
“I played an unbelievable final. I went for it, I have the confidence right now for the next tournament, now it’s time to enjoy this moment, being champion and after today it’s time to focus on the next tournament.
“I always watch this tournament with great players and great champions, and to be part of the Madrid history, to be with these players is so special. I work hard for it,” he declared.