Rafael Nadal wasted no time in getting his Madrid Open campaign off to a winning start as he hammered fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-1 6-2 to progress to the last-16. Alacarez, who celebrates his 18th birthday today, barely got a look in in the first set but will be proud of the three games he was able to snatch off the world No 2.
Nadal is expected to dominate the entire clay season and he sent a clear message with his opening victory in the Spanish capital.
Alcaraz’s highlight came in the 11th game of the match as he broke the second seed’s serve.
But it was not enough to wobble his 20-time Grand Slam winning opponent, who wrapped up the victory in 77 minutes.
After the match tournament director Feliciano Lopez joined Nadal on centre court to present Alcaraz with a birthday cake.
Nadal then said: “Carlos Alcaraz has enormous potential, the illusion and the humility to continue improving every day. I hope this is the case because we need him.”
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