Madrid (2nd round): Rafael Nadal – Carlos Alcaraz

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This will be the first time these two players will face each other.

Tournament history

Rafael Nadal has already played 17 times in this Masters 1000 in Madrid. From 2009, when this tournament moved to clay, he has only fallen once in the 2nd round (against Verdasco in 2012). And, not surprisingly, his best performance is a trophy lifted (2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017).

As for Carlos Alcaraz, it is the first time he plays in the main draw of this Spanish tournament.

In this edition

Rafael Nadal took advantage of his ranking to skip the 1st round.

As for Carlos Alcaraz, he made his debut in the competition against Adrian Mannarino. The Frenchman did not really manage to compete with the Spanish. The latter won 6-4 6-0.

Analysis

Carlos Alcaraz will celebrate his 18th birthday this Wednesday against Rafael Nadal. Isn’t it a great gift to face a compatriot who is none other than the best in the world?

I obviously can’t see Rafael Nadal losing in his debut in this Madrid tournament. The world number 2 is coming off a good tournament in Barcelona where he has gradually raised his level of play. Therefore, I expect him to be at least at the same level as he was in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Rafael Nadal is an incredible defender who should be able to make the young Carlos Alcaraz lose patience. The latter can rush when he does not find a solution, and this leads him to make faults or, simply, to stall mentally.

However, I am not going to put my highest confidence in this Prediction. Rafael Nadal has never been comfortable in Madrid, because the playing conditions are very different from other clay court tournaments like Rome or Roland Garros. The ball is faster, and this favors offensive players. We can consider Carlos Alcaraz as a player of this category. The youngster knows how to play very aggressively, especially on the forehand, and this allows him to achieve many winning shots.

In the event that Carlos Alcaraz plays transcended, Rafael Nadal could well encounter some difficulties and be surprised by losing (why not) a set. Or more you said? No, don’t talk about bad luck.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal wins

Medium risk

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