Prior to last year’s Madrid Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas was the youngest player to defeat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Stefanos knocked out Novak at Toronto 2018 and ousted Rafa a year later in Madrid to complete an arduous task at the age of 20.
Carlos Alcaraz took the record from Tsitsipas in style at the Caja Mágica last year, defeating two legends on consecutive days at 19 years and two days! Alcaraz became the fifth player to win over Nadal and Djokovic on back-to-back days and the first to defeat them on clay.
The young Spaniard claimed his first win over Nadal in the quarter-finals, beating his idol 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. Taking advantage of the fact that Rafa had not played for six weeks, Carlos dominated sets one and three to set up the showdown against Novak Djokovic.
The teenager defended six out of nine break points and secured four breaks to take him to the final. Alcaraz hit 37 winners and restarted from the third set to topple the king of clay and stay in contention for the title.
A day later, Carlos beat world number 1 Novak Djokovic 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in three hours and 35 minutes of an epic match. The match registered only three breaks of service. The young tennis player kept her cool in the closing stages of sets two and three to claim victory and advance to the title showdown in front of her fans.
Djokovic came back from 4-2 down in the first set and took command after the opening stroke to keep the pressure on the other side. The Serbian prevailed in the tie break 7-5, which gave him a good boost into the second set.
McEnroe talks about Rafa Nadal
Tennis legend John McEnroe recently weighed in on speculation about Rafael Nadal’s retirement following his exit from the Australian Open in 2023. “My hope is that he goes out when he wants to go out, not when we want him to go out.
You’re talking about a GED — the greatest of all time — type of athlete,” McEnroe said. “From what I’ve heard, Rafa is going to keep playing. You know, he loves the competition, he loves the process, and he loves the sport, and we love him for it,” McEnroe said.
“But if the body doesn’t hold up and he feels like he can’t get to the type of health level that he needs to win majors, then I think he’ll quit,” he added.