Nadal Overwhelms Teen Alcaraz At Madrid Masters; Medvedev, Tsitsipas Advance

by Staff | May 5th, 2021, 5:51 pm

The much-anticipated inter-generational showdown between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz failed to live up the hype as Rafa rolled 6-1, 6-2 at the Madrid Masters on Wednesday.

Alcaraz came out swinging early on, going toe-to-toe with the King of Clay. Celebrating his 18th birthday, Alcaraz enjoyed a quick break point, but failed to convert. Then got broken to go down 2-0 and in the third game needed the trainer after tweaking his ab area while going for an over-the-back overhead.

Nadal showed little mercy against the 18-year-old other than getting broken in the middle of the second.

“Even if was not a comfortable start against a very young and great player like Carlos, I think I played a solid match and I did what I had to do to be through,” Nadal said. “So very happy about the performance today.

“He’s playing very aggressive. He has a lot of potential. He’s a young and good guy, so, I mean, he already has a great level of tennis today, but I really believe that he gonna be a fantastic player in the near future.

“I wish him all the very best. I mean, like Spanish player and like in Spanish fan, I really believe that we need somebody like him, and it’s great to have him here.”

Alcaraz got his first taste of big time tennis. But the future looks very good.

“It’s amazing, no, to spend my birthday playing against Rafa, learning from him, yeah, playing here in Madrid,” Alcaraz said. “It could better if I could win, but I really enjoy. I really learn from him, and, yeah, I think this match made me grow up as a player. I really happy to spend my birthday like this.

“this match made me learn a lot, because, well, I have to know how to manage the tough moments and, well, know how to play against these kind of players, no?

“This is so tough matches, tough players, and I have to learn how to play against them. So I think if I could play more matches like this I will grow up faster, and I think this — yeah, grow up as a player faster.”

Nadal moves on to face Alexei Popyrin who upset Jannik Sinner 7-6(5), 6-2.

“He has a huge serve, great forehand, young,” Nadal said of the Australian. “Another tough opponent. But here we are in Masters 1000, so we can’t expect another thing.

“I hope to be ready to play well. That’s what I gonna need every single day if I want to have chances to keep playing. Tomorrow is another tough battle. I hope to be ready.”

Daniil Medvedev opened the day on stadium earning his first career win in Madrid beating another young Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Medvedev dropped the opener before rallying for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

“To be honest, I mean, I feel like first set I should have won it also, but that’s clay,” Medvedev said. “You have a lot of breakpoints. He played good. He made some winners. I lost my serve from not so many breakpoints, I think I saved one, and yeah, the serve was over so it was very frustrating.

“A lot of matches on clay I lost like this before so I knew, okay, there is nothing to do else than continue playing, because I was playing not bad. I managed to actually, yeah, finish the important moments with some good shots, and that was the key to win the match.”

Cristian Garin is next for Medvedev tomorrow.

Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his strong play breezing past Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-2. He’ll now face Casper Ruud. Alexander Zverev eased past former finalist Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2. The German will now face Dan Evans.

“I was very pleased with the all-around performance today,” Zverev said. “My serve was working out pretty well, I think my returns, my backhand was also working out pretty well. All around, it was a good match for me, because against someone like Kei, you need to win the match yourself because he’s not going to give anything to you. I felt like I did that well today.”

John Isner scored a great win saving a match point to deny Roberto Bautista Agut in a final set breaker 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(6). Isner will now take on Andrey Rublev.

Aslan Karatsav showed his clay prowess upsetting Diego Schwartzman in three sets. Federico Delbonis was also a winner.

Tomorrow, Dominic Thiem also returns to face Alex De Minaur as part of a full day of third round matches.


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2 Comments for Nadal Overwhelms Teen Alcaraz At Madrid Masters; Medvedev, Tsitsipas Advance

Giles Says:

The boy certainly has a loud grunt!

Giles Says:
The Laureus winners – Rafa Nadal and Naomi Osaka. Congratulations.

Top story: Carlos Alcaraz Rolls Right Ankle In Scary Tumble In Rio [Video]