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Alcaraz Birthday Wish

By Alberto Amalfi | Sunday, May 1, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates his 19th birthday on Thursday.

The Barcelona champion isn't asking for party favors.

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Alcaraz has one birthday wish: a Rafael Nadal rematch in a Madrid.

The seventh-seeded Alcaraz has a first-round bye and will face either Fabio Fognini or Nikoloz Basilashvili in his Madrid opener.

Both Alcaraz and Nadal need to win two matches to set up a Madrid quarterfinal rematch that could just fall on Alcaraz's birthday.

"Hopefully I will be able to play on my birthday. I wish for that," Alcaraz told the media in Madrid. "It's a special day, where last year I was able to play against Rafa, and this year I wish I will be able to play the match on my birthday on Thursday. Hopefully I will be able to win this year."

A year ago, Nadal schooled Alcaraz 6-1, 6-2 in the Madrid round of 32. In their Indian Wells rematch last March, Nadal fought off a ferocious Alcaraz and a fractured rib prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a three-hour marathon.

Today, Alcaraz partnered Nadal's coach and good buddy Marc Lopez to a doubles win in Lopez's farewell tournament. Nadal and Lopez famously partnered to capture the doubles gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.


A post shared by #MMOPEN (@mutuamadridopen)

Miami Open champion Alcaraz came close to cracking the code against the king of clay in Indian Wells and is a much more confident player these days. He has cause for confidence: the world No. 9 carries a 23-3 record, including an 11-1 mark on dirt, into Madrid.

Alcaraz, who excelled before home fans in a rousing Barcelona performance, says he's ready to make Madrid magic.

Tennis Express

The teenager says his goal for this Masters is the same as his goal for every tournament: take the title.

"Every single tournament that I step into, I think that I am able to win it," Alcaraz said. "I think I have the level and the physical state to win it. You know, this is tennis and anything can happen.

"I feel ready. I feel with the confidence, and I think that I can do a really good result, can achieve a really good result here in Madrid."

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open