Carlos Alcaraz could not be more excited to test himself against this tennis idol when he faces clay monster Rafael Nadal on his 18th birthday in Wednesday’s Madrid Masters second round.
The all-Spanish showdown will pit the NextGen wild card teen against the old master, with Nadal, who turns 36 on June 6, starting the hunt for a sixth trophy at his home event.
Alcaraz revealed his emotions to Spanish TV as he prepared for the biggest match of his young career.
“It’s special to turn 18 playing against one of the best in the history of tennis,” the No. 120 said.
“It is a gift that I will never forget. There are many comparisons that will be made between the new generation and the legend.
“I’ll try to play like I have been and enjoy it. I will be nervous, but trying to remain calm.”
The youngster who has risen nearly 200 ranking spots since last August, is not limited in his ambitions: “I’ve always wanted to be No. 1 and I was eager to come to Madrid.
“Playing Nadal will be a dream come true – the best way of turning 18.
“This is a tournament that I have attended since I was little and now I’m here. The public has encouraged me and helped me.”
Main photo:- Carlos Alcaraz will be 18 on day he plays Rafa Nadal by Corinne Dubreuil ATPTour.com