"I honestly was so scared, I'm not going to lie": Carlos Alcaraz froze up in playing Rafael Nadal for first time at Madrid Open

Wednesday, 24 April 2024 at 17:17
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Go back to 2021 and Carlos Alcaraz was touted as the successor to Rafael Nadal's throne as the king of Spanish tennis and they were due to face off for the first time at the Madrid Open. But ahead of their latest tournament this week in 2024, Alcaraz doesn't look back on that time with any semblance of fondness.
Alcaraz was royally thrashed 6-1, 6-2 by the King of Spanish tennis back then. It got easier for him though as they faced off again albeit by his own admission that first time really got to him. They faced off potentially for the last time at the Netflix Slam recently with Alcaraz running out the winner.
“It’s difficult, honestly it’s so difficult to face him. The first time in 2021 I honestly was so scared, I’m not going to lie,” Alcaraz recalled. "I couldn’t play – his presence, that atmosphere, you feel it’s unbelievable, it’s difficult.”
“The next time we learned a lot just how to deal with that situation, we are tennis players, we learned a lot and you want to be the best you know," Alcaraz continued. "The next time I faced him I didn’t feel as scared, I just wanted to beat him and just wanted to go for it and that’s all you have to think about it but I’m not going to lie, it is difficult.”

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