In a much-anticipated battle of generations, Rafael Nadal confirmed he’s nonetheless clearly the person to beat in Spanish tennis, cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 win over teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz within the second spherical of the Madrid Open on Wednesday.
Nadal, in search of his sixth title in Madrid and trying to regain high kind forward of the French Open, was by no means threatened by Alcaraz, who turned 18 on Wednesday.
The 120th-ranked Alcaraz was coming off his first victory at a Masters 1000 occasion and had referred to as the match in opposition to his idol a “dream come true.”
He has been touted by many because the successor to the 34-year-old Nadal.
After the group on the “Magic Field” heart court docket sang “Glad Birthday” to him, Alcaraz squandered a break level within the first recreation after which struggled to maintain up with the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
The wild-card entry was marred by unforced errors, incomes his lone break towards the top of the second set.
Alcaraz wanted medical consideration within the third recreation after dropping a protracted rally, apparently hurting his arm or shoulder whereas going for an overhead smash.
The 2 Spaniards had by no means performed a match in opposition to one another however practiced collectively on the Australian Open, when Alcaraz reached the second spherical.
“It was a troublesome match in opposition to a teen who has been taking part in very nicely and who has an infinite potential forward of him,” Nadal mentioned on Wednesday.
“All he wants is a while. Along with being an incredible tennis participant, he additionally has nice values, which is one thing society wants proper now.”
After the match, event director Feliciano Lopez, who misplaced to Alcaraz within the Andalucia Open final month, introduced out a birthday cake, and Nadal additionally joined the celebration.
Earlier, second-seeded Daniil Medvedev broke his six-match tour-level dropping streak on clay with a Four-6, 6-Four, 6-2 win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
The third-ranked Medvedev hadn’t performed since March on the Miami Open. He’ll subsequent face Chilean Cristian Garin, who defeated Dominik Koepfer 6-Three, 6-Four.
Alexander Zverev, the 2018 Madrid champion, comfortably defeated 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori 6-Three, 6-2.
“Kei is somebody who has achieved nicely right here, reaching the ultimate and he has overwhelmed me on clay earlier than,” Zverev mentioned.
“I’m positively pleased with this efficiency.”
The fifth-seeded German has reached the Madrid quarterfinals or higher in his final three appearances within the Spanish capital. He’ll subsequent face Daniel Evans, who defeated John Millman 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-Three.
Seventh-seeded Diego Schwartzman misplaced 2-6, 6-Four, 6-1 to Aslan Karatsev.
Within the ladies’s draw, Paula Badosa defeated Belinda Bencic 6-Four, 7-5 to turn into the primary Spanish girl to succeed in the semifinals in Madrid. She is going to face top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, who obtained previous Petra Kvitova 6-1, Three-6, 6-Three.