Carlos Alcaraz [inset] believes that Rafael Nadal can never be counted out in any match
In response, the teenager highlighted how beating Rafael Nadal was akin to an impossible mission but went on to back himself against the latter.
“Honestly, I don’t know, I always say that he has 1000 lives (laughs), I mean he’s dying and he survives in every match, every tough match for him but well I think if I play really good game I have chances to win,” Alcaraz said.
Nadal and Alcaraz have locked horns twice on tour so far, with the 35-year-old winning on both occasions. The Mallorcan handed Alcaraz a 6-1, 6-2 beatdown the first time they met, which was incidentally at the Madrid Masters last year.
They next faced each other at the Indian Wells Masters in March. Nadal fractured his ribs during the match but eventually fought through the pain to prevail 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
“To play Rafael Nadal, it’s very nice, and especially here in Madrid” – Carlos Alcaraz
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will meet each other in the last eight of the Madrid Masters on Friday.
Speaking to the media after beating Norrie on Thursday, Alcaraz admitted that playing his more illustrious compatriot is always special, and even more so in their home event.
However, the teenager asserted that he would try to see his clash against the 21-time Major champion as just “another match” in order to “manage” the pressure.
“Well, it’s a special match for me, of course, to play Rafa, it’s very nice, and especially here in Madrid,” said Alcaraz. “But I will try not to think so much about that. I’m going to try to think that it’s another match, a quarterfinals, that today I have already played a couple quarterfinals. I will try to manage the pressure, the nerves, and I will have to show a good level of tennis. Mentally I will also try to control myself.”
Carlos Alcaraz turned 19 on Thursday and has already managed to notch up three career meetings against Nadal, a feat some veterans cannot boast of. The teenager believes he is fortunate to have been able to play Nadal since he always dreamed of doing so as a kid.
“I would say yes. Lucky to play against Rafa,” said Alcaraz. “I always wished to play against him when I was younger, and yeah, it’s special.”