Madrid Open Q/Final: Nadal says it’s Advantage Alcaraz


Rafa Nadal said he will be the underdog when the 21-times Grand Slam champion faces teenager Carlos Alcaraz today in a battle between the Spaniards in the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

Australian Open champion Nadal is playing his first tournament since picking up a rib injury at Indian Wells in March and expects a “very tough” test against the 19-year-old.


“I think that today, he is better than me and he has a good dynamic, a good momentum,” said Nadal, who saved four match points to overcome David Goffin 6-3 5-7 7-6(9) on Thursday.

“I think that Alcaraz is in a better physical state of mind, is more fit … he’s younger, so he has that extra energy. I’m clear who, from the beginning, has some kind of advantage in tomorrow’s match.”

Alcaraz and Nadal in all Spanish showdown

Alcaraz, who beat Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 to set up a third career meeting with Nadal, has drawn comparisons with his compatriot after winning three titles this year and entering the world top 10.


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“He is the best player in the world on clay … even though he says that I’m the favourite, that he’s not fit enough … you always have to think of Rafa as the favorite because he has already won here five times,” said Alcaraz, who lost their previous two meetings.

“Of course I dream and I fight to be the best one. As I already said, to be the best one you have to beat the best ones and the best. I think I’m ready to achieve that ultimate goal.”