Carlos Alcaraz, 19, stunned Rafael Nadal to win the quarter-final clash at the Mutua Madrid Open that brought the two Spaniards together on Friday.
The 7th seed beat 35-year-old Nadal, who was seeded third in Madrid on his return from a rib injury 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 after recovering from a twisted ankle in the second set.
“I’ll remember this match for the rest of my life,” said Alcaraz.
“It was without doubt the hardest match for me to manage emotionally in all of my career. Playing against Rafa is complicated, and although I’m sure everyone would say the same, it’s even more so for me, because he is my hero,” Alcaraz added.
Alcaraz becomes the first teenager to beat Nadal on his favorite clay surface and Nadal admitted that he was his successor.
“Although we will have to see if that succession takes place today or in a few months,” he added.
Alcaraz will play top seed Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-final. Djokovic beat 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4, showing no sign of rustiness after a walkover in the previous round due to Andy Murray pulling out after suffering an attack of food poisoning.
Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas won another marathon match 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 against No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev.- Advertisement -