It wasn’t too way back that Rafael Nadal was handing Carlos Alcaraz a PlayStation because the boy’s prize at an area tennis match 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 6-4 6-0 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 middle courtroom on Wednesday, his birthday.
“Will probably be a dream come by to play in opposition to Rafa right here,” Alcaraz stated.
“I’ve needed to play in opposition to him since I used to be a child. There will likely 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-about 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 youngsters obtained PlayStations from Nadal after competing in a match.
“I’ll attempt to be as relaxed as doable,” the A hundred and twentieth-ranked Alcaraz stated. “I’ll attempt to play my recreation and to continue to learn and maintain having enjoyable.”
In different early spherical matches, Daniel Evans defeated Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (6) 6-7 (7) 6-2, and Danis Shapovalov received 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 6-3 to arrange an all-Italian conflict in opposition to Matteo Berrettini within the second spherical.
John Isner defeated Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (6), whereas fellow American Reilly Opelka misplaced to Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-4. Different US gamers who received had been Marcos Giron and Tommy Paul.
Within the girls’s draw, top-ranked Ashleigh Barty defeated French Open champion Iga Swiatek 7-5 6-4 in a round-of-16 match, whereas Spaniard Paula Badosa received previous Anastasija Sevastova 6-7 (0) 7-6 (3) 6-0.
Petra Kvitova defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 4-6 6-4, whereas eighth-seeded Belinda Bencic superior after Ons Jabeur retired.