Back in the mid 2000s, a young Rafael Nadal took the Tennis world by storm. The youngster showed the skills to go a long way because of his solid play and his hunger to keep improving with every game. Cut to 2021, Nadal is one of the greats of the Tennis World and has 20 slam titles under his belt, which is equal to Roger Federer’s tally.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal will be playing in his 18th straight Mutua Madrid Open this week. Nadal made his Mutua Madrid Open debut back in 2003 when he was only 17 years old against Alex Corretja but lost in three sets.
Nadal once again returned to the event as a much improved player in 2004 and registered his maiden win in the event against Italian Davide Sanguinetti. Thus, the lefty became the youngest player to register a win at the Mutua Madrid Open at 18 years.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz has shown similar signs of going a long way in his career. The youngster has impressed with his talent and it would be interesting to note how he takes giant strides in the sport.
Alcaraz defeated Adrian Mannarino in the first round of Madrid Open by 6-4, 6-0 to become the youngest player to register a win in the Madrid Open. Interestingly, Alcaraz will now face his idol Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, when he will also turn 18 years.
Meanwhile, Nadal is coming after winning his 12th Barcelona title and the youngster will have his work cut out against the legendary player.
Nadal has an unprecedented record of 445-40 on clay courts and it is a tough job to get past him on clay. Thus, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia will need to be at the top of his game to challenge Nadal.