It wasn’t too way back that Rafael Nadal was handing Carlos Alcaraz a PlayStation because the boy’s prize at an area tennis event in Spain.
Now the Spanish nice is about to play in opposition to the promising teenager 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 Box heart courtroom on Wednesday, his birthday.
“It will be a dream come through to play against Rafa here,” Alcaraz mentioned.
“I’ve wanted to play against him since I was a kid. There will be no better way than while 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 at 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 couple of years in the past, Alcaraz and different children acquired PlayStations from Nadal after competing in a event.
“I’ll try to be as relaxed as possible,” the One hundred and twentieth-ranked Alcaraz mentioned. “I’ll try to play my game and to keep learning and keep having fun.”
In different early spherical matches, Daniel Evans defeated Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (6) 6-7 (7) 6-2, and Danis Shapovalov obtained 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 lost to Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-4. Other US gamers who received had been Marcos Giron and Tommy Paul.
In the ladies’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 obtained 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.