Nadal Alcaraz Madrid 2021

Carlos Alcaraz praised as ‘an amazing player’ by Rafael Nadal

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal took to court for their Netflix exhibition last night in Las Vegas, with the former claiming victory over his idol.

Alcaraz claimed a, 3-6 6-4 14-12, victory in front of a sell out crowd in Las Vegas and Nadal joked about not wanting to play his compatriot much more.

“It’s a good thing that as a player I will not face him many times,” joked Nadal. “As a fan, I will enjoy watching him for many years hopefully!”

It was Nadal’s first match since the Brisbane International in January, when he obtained a ‘micro tear’ and was subsequently forced to withdraw from the Australian Open.

And the 37-year-old praised Alcaraz after losing the exhibition match to him, “He’s a big challenge. It’s completely different generations. In Spain, we should be very, very happy about having someone like Carlos coming.

“He’s an amazing player. He’s only 20 years old and he’s already won two Slams and a couple of important tournaments.”

Alcaraz has also had injury woes as of late, having sprained his ankle in the first round at the Rio Open two weeks ago.

However, the Wimbledon champion appears to now be recovered and spoke about how special of an occasion it was to play Nadal, “It has been incredible. Playing against Rafa is really special for me.”

“[Nadal has a] Fighting spirit that he never gives up on any ball. He runs around every corner of the court,” said Alcaraz. “I had a few match points before I got it. He made an unbelievable shot. He never gives up.

“That’s something that I try to keep for my game, that mentality that he has, finding a solution when things are not going well every time.”

Both Alcaraz and Nadal will now prepare for Indian Wells, with the former the defending champion for the Masters 1000 event that begins on Wednesday 6th March.

Inside the baseline…

It was a very fun and innovative exhibition match last night, with both Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal showcasing some of their greatest hits. It was great to see Nadal look pain-free, and it is clear how much admiration and support the 22-time Grand Slam champion has for Alcaraz. Hopefully Nadal will be able to stay fit for his first competitive tournament in two months this week, with the Mallorcan’s first match taking place on Thursday.

READ NEXT – Indian Wells 2024 Preview: When is it, who is playing and what is the prize money?

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.