Alcaraz wins the generational pulse against Nadal and faces Djokovic

Hug on the net, congratulations from Rafael Nadalin recognition of Carlos Alcaraz. The generational duel was carried out by the young Murcian tennis player who defeated his idol for the first time in the Caja Mágica by 6-2, 1-6 and 6-3. A match with a broken heart in the stands of the Caja Mágica.

Two generations face to face. Aside Nadal with 91 titles, 21 Grand Slams and 1050 victories, to the other, alcaraz, 19 years old and a long way to go, although the star is already shining strong this season with three titles in his pocket and the conviction of reaching the highest possible level, as Manolo Santana demonstrated in the central defender in a game “very complicated for me”, said Carlitos, as he likes to be called, after winning his “childhood idol from whom I always learn”. This Saturday he will take another step in his fight against the best against the number 1 Novak Djokovic (4:00 p.m., La1 and Movistar).

in the first set alcaraz He hasn’t given any options. After a nervous start in which both have broken the kick-off, after making a second ‘break’, the Murcian tennis player has been imposing a rhythm, increasingly stronger, more aggressive, than on the other side of the net , Nadal couldn’t stop.

I had a cyclone in front of me finished the set with 19 winners by 2 from Nadal. Nor was the Balearic in a position to plant a face-to-face fight. He had announced it. “Carlos is the favourite. I will try to do what he can”, he warned after his marathon match with David Goffinfrom which he left limping, due to his chronic injury to his left foot that has been torturing him too much lately.

Nadal he was depleted, in any other game and tournament, he would have wondered if it was worth playing, but in Madrid, at the Caja Mágica and before an audience eager to see the generational duel, he assumed his responsibility. He tried to keep his face to the meteor in front of him. “Emotionally it has been the most complicated match of my career”, acknowledged the Murcian tennis player, who after the match wrote a sentence on the television camera full of symbolism: ‘What happened?’

Well, it has happened that a year and a day ago, Nadal had taught the young champion candidate a lesson (6-1, 6-2). And now it has happened that Alcaraz has beaten his idol. And not because the situation was very different and not only because of the 16 years and a month that separated the 35 years of one and the 19 of the other.

“Emotionally it was the most difficult game of my career, I was playing against my idol”

Carlos Alcaraz, tennis player

in 47 minutes alcaraz he scored the first set taking out all his great repertoire of blowsforehand, backhand, volleys, services at more than 210 km/h and those drop shots, house brand, moving with power to Nadal from one corner of the track to another. A festival that the former world number 1 fit in without any complaint, aware of his inferiority, especially physical, which prevented him from keeping the pulse he would have liked.

Fall and stop

A spectacular fall alcaraz At the beginning of the second set, in which the Murcian tennis player sprained his ankle and hit his hand, they helped Nadal level the game and take the lead (3-1). It was a moment of lack of control for the Murcian tennis player, to which was added that the match was stopped to attend to a spectator in the stands.

Nadal wanted to continue and encouraged to do so alcarazbut the referee judge did not allow it. Nadal sat in the chair waiting while alcaraz He made movements to check the condition of his ankle. After the restart, the Balearic tennis player chained the three games in a row and gave up only two points to force the third set. The alcaraz from the start was missing (13 unforced errors and just 5 winners).

reaction to win

The Murcian tennis player went to the locker room to change and came out refreshed. Ready to go back to battle. His blows hurt again. The ball shot out of his racket like a shell again. Playing direct and aggressive, brave. Thus came the ‘break’ (3-1), with a blank game, in which Nadal was desperate for his four mistakes. Alcaraz took advantage of 4-1 and 5-2, fired towards victory, after the scare. A magical drop shot and a right passing shot gave victory to the new star of Spanish tennis.

Djokovic, next rival

alcaraz I wanted to play these games, face the best, beat them. the match before Nadal It was special and he really enjoyed it. This Friday he added the 26 victory of the season and reached the semifinals for the third time in a Masters 1,000. The first in Indian Wells where he fell for the last time against Nadal, the second in Miami, where he won the title and the third in Madrid, where he awaits this Saturday a certain Novak Djokovic (4:00 p.m., La1, Movistar).

Another challenge in his dazzling progression in which he returned to the Caja Mágica from 120th in the world last year as ‘top ten’ (9th in the world). “I love watching Alcaraz play. It is fantastic for our sport that we have a young player who is doing so well and who is giving new breath to tennis & rdquor ;, said the number 1. We will have to see what he says after crossing paths with alcaraz this Saturday. Nadal can explain something to him.

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In the other semifinal (9:00 p.m., Teledeporte and Movistar), alexander zverevcurrent champion of the tournament, will face Stefanos Tsitsipas. The German tennis player beat the Canadian Auger-Aliassime 6-3 and 7-5, while the Greek eliminated the Russian Andrew Rublev by 6-3, 2-6 and 6-4. The women’s final between the American Jessica Pegula and the Tunisian Ons Jabeur It will be held this Saturday (6:30 p.m.).

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