Carlos Alcaraz in action against the Mallorcan at the Mutua Madrid Open
Carlos Alcaraz scored one of the biggest victories of his career on Friday, beating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters on Friday. Alcaraz won 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to book his place in the semifinals, where he will face Novak Djokovic.
Speaking to the media after his win over Nadal, the teenager admitted to being on cloud nine, highlighting how beating the Mallorcan on clay is no small feat.
“Well, I’m very excited, a lot of excitement,” Alcaraz said. “Very few players can say that they have defeated Rafa on clay. I feel fortunate to be one of them. Right now I am very, very happy.”
Alcaraz was then asked if he would consider this day to be the best of his life since he had beaten the King of Clay on his favorite surface. The 19-year-old diplomatically dealt with the answer, pointing out that it would rank amongst his best.
“Regarding on being the best days, I don’t know if I’m going to tell the best days because I have lived many, but one of the best days, for sure,” he said.
He further explained that most of his time after his win over Nadal would go towards recovering ahead of Saturday’s last-four clash against Djokovic.
“Well, right now with my team, well, we have spoken a little bit about the match but still not much,” said the teenager. “Right now we are trying everything to can to recover for tomorrow, putting 100% of what we have in our hands to be able to be recovered for tomorrow and give 100%.”
“I just felt that Rafael Nadal is 100% in the third set” – Carlos Alcaraz
During the presser, Alcaraz was asked if he felt Nadal ran out of gas in the deciding set, but the teenager answered in the negative.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel it (Nadal getting tired),” said Carlos Alcaraz. “I just felt that Rafa is 100% in the third set.”
Carlos Alcaraz approached the net while serving for the match at 5-3 up in the third set. Rushing to the forecourt area is usually a big risk against a shotmaker of Nadal’s caliber, but even more so on clay, where it is next to impossible to penetrate the Mallorcan’s defense.
But the teenager’s plan eventually paid off, and he later explained that it is important for one to go for their shots.
“Well, I always think that in the tough moments, in important moments, you have to go for it. I did that great serve,” Alcaraz said. “Rafa returns obviously in the back of the court, and I just went to the net, just go for the points. As all the points in the last game, I just think go for it. If you miss it, at least you went for it.”