Blimey! The Spanish child prodigy after the victory over Nadal beat the first racket of the world

Daniil Salnikov

Daniil Salnikov

Sensation at the Masters in Madrid

Young Carlos Alcaras was the first in the world to consistently defeat Nadal and Djokovic on clay. He is already in the Masters final in Madrid.

The Spanish wunderkind Carlos Alcaras, after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 1/4 finals of the Masters in Madrid, then beat the first racket of the world Novak Djokovic. Blimey!

As soon as the draw for the Masters took place in Madrid, many fans and experts began to look forward to the meeting between Nadal and Djokovic in the semi-finals. She was supposed to be the 59th in a row in their epic confrontation. However, all plans were destroyed by the 19th Spaniard Carlos Alcaras. In the 1/4 finals, he defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets in 2 hours and 17 minutes – 6:2, 1:6, 6:3. At the beginning of the second game, Carlos sprained his leg, after which he lost a whole series of games. However, in the third set, Alcaraz changed and brought the matter to the 1st victory in his career over Nadal.

The king of soil retreated before the heir!  Carlos Alcaraz defeated Rafael Nadal for the first time
The king of soil retreated before the heir! Carlos Alcaraz defeated Rafael Nadal for the first time

Thus, Alcaraz went to the semi-finals against Djokovic. It is worth noting that the opponents have not played with each other before, but the young Spaniard has gained experience of victories over top tennis players. In his collection, he already has 9 won matches against representatives of the top ten. The highest ranked number on this list was Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 US Open (3rd). But the first rackets of the world before that, Carlos Alcaras did not win.

Nadal, who lost to Alcaraz in the quarterfinals, praised the capabilities of his “heir” during a press conference: “I have not watched a single Novak game in this tournament. I don’t know what will happen when one of the best tennis players in history meets a young guy who plays at a very high level. Carlos can win. I don’t see any specific reason why he can’t do it. Unless, of course, he allows himself such a decline, as in the second set in the match with me. A lot depends on his mood – when he is on adrenaline, he is almost unstoppable. And, of course, he is wrong, because he plays very risky. I think he is capable of defeating anyone in terms of level, there is no doubt about it. ”

Here is the master!  18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz won in Miami and took $ 1.2 million
Here is the master! 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz won in Miami and took $ 1.2 million

Former world number one, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova compared Carlos to Novak: “For me, Alcaraz is the best version of Djokovic. He moves just as well as Novak but hits the ball better. More powerful than anything I’ve ever seen. He defies the laws of gravity on the court.”

Carlos Alcaras entered the semi-finals with Djokovic with a bandaged right ankle, but it was not noticeable that the Spaniard was bothered by something while moving around the court. On the contrary, he entered the match better than Novak and achieved a break in the opening game. However, then the Serb started up, adjusted the game, began to act brilliantly on his serve, and at the reception time after time he baffled the young opponent. Gradually, Djokovic began to get close to break points, and in the 8th game he still equalized the score – 4:4. In the 10th game, Novak missed a set point and, as a result, the fate of the game was decided in a tie-break, where the Serb achieved success from the 4th set point – 7:6 (7:5).

In the second set there was an equal fight. Tennis players delighted the audience with amazing draws. Note that Alcaraz had a worse first serve, but he compensated for this shortcoming by often knocking Djokovic off the court with oblique blows. And the young Spaniard tormented the Serb with shortened ones, despite the fact that Novak himself is just famous for the masterful execution of such blows. Everything went to the second tie-break, but in the 12th game, Carlos successfully shortened several times and achieved a break – 7:5. The match went into the third set, which was similar to the previous one in terms of intensity of the struggle. Each of the opponents had chances for a break, including Alcaraz’s match point in the 10th game. However, it still came to a tie-break again, where Carlos succeeded this time. 6:7, 7:5, 7:6 in 3 hours 37 minutes. Strong-willed victory of the young Spaniard!

This is how 19-year-old Carlos Alcaras did the unbelievable – he beat both the King of Clay and the first racket of the world in two days. He became only the 12th tennis player in history to beat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same tournament; only the 4th who managed to beat them consecutively – one after the other, and the first in the world to do it all on clay!

Tennis players who beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament:
1. David Nalbandian – Madrid 2007, hard (in a row)
2. David Ferrer – Final-2007, hard
3. Andy Roddick – Dubai 2008 Hard (consecutive)
4. Nikolay Davydenko – Shanghai 2009, hard (in a row)
5. Robin Söderling – Final-2009, hard
6. Ivan Lubicic – Indian Wells 2010, hard
7. Roger Federer – Final-2010, hard (consecutive)
8. Stan Wawrinka – Australian Open – 2014, hard
9. Juan Martin del Potro – Rio 2016 Olympics, clay
10. Dominic Thiem – Final-2020, hard
11. Daniil Medvedev – Final-2020, hard
12. Carlos Alcaraz – Madrid 2022, clay (consecutive)

Alcaraz reached his 5th career final and his 2nd at the Masters since Miami 2022. On Monday, in any case, the Spaniard will rise in the rankings by 3 positions at once and for the first time will become the 6th racket of the world. In the decisive match, he will face the winner of the pair Stefanos Tsitsipas – Alexander Zverev.


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