“Just Don’t Eat the Whole Cake”: Rafael Nadal to Carlos Alcaraz After Crushing Him at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/05/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia after their round of 32 match REUTERS/Sergio Perez


Carlos Alcaraz, the rising Spanish sensation on the tennis circuit, had a memorable 18th birthday as he contested against Rafael Nadal in the second round at the Mutua Madrid Open. 

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Even though Alcaraz lost the match in straight sets 1-6, 2-6, he did put up a decent fight towards the tail end of the second set as he refused to yield breakpoint on his serve and forced Nadal to serve out the match. 

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in action during his round of 32 match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Sergio Perez

How Carlos Alcaraz made his breakthrough on the ATP Tour last year

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The eighteen-year-old player from Rafa Naval Academy had won three titles at the Challenger level and qualified for the 2020 Rio Open main draw as he defeated compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas in three sets and registered his first main-draw victory on the ATP tour. 

The Spaniard was also the youngest player in men’s singles history to qualify for the Australian Open main draw. With several accomplishments to his name at a very young age, Alcaraz is a promising talent to watch out for in the future. 

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Coached by former Spanish player Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz maintains an aggressive display of tennis. He relies on his swift movement and likes to use drop shots, irrespective of the surface. All in all, the young Spaniard looks like a complete package, ready to win titles soon enough. 

However, the youngster was overwhelmed by the scathing force of Rafael Nadal at Madrid today. Nadal was in his element right from the start of the match and didn’t show any signs of fatigue whatsoever. As a result, it became tough for Alcaraz to take control of the match to dictate gameplay. 

Nadal overpowered Alcaraz comfortably in straight sets 6-1,6-2. But the tournament director Feliciano Lopez wanted Alcaraz to remember his 18th birthday. With the local crowd wishing the Spaniard, Lopez brought a cake and offered it to Alcaraz. 

“Just don’t eat the whole cake” – Rafael Nadal to Alcaraz

When Alcaraz was walking away with the cake, Rafael Nadal took a funny jibe at the youngster as he said, “Just don’t eat the whole cake.”

Talking post-defeat, Alcaraz had encouraging words to say about his matchup against Nadal and how more matches against top players would help him reach the top.

I’m very happy to spend my birthday learning from the best. This match showed me how to manage the tough moments and know how to play against these kind of players. If I could play more matches like this, I would grow up faster as player,” Alcaraz mentioned. 

The youngster also mentioned what Rafael Nadal told him after the match. 

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Before the match, we didn’t talk but after he wished me a good birthday and told me to continue to work hard,” concluded Alcaraz. 

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Amongst rising stars like Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda, Carlos Alcaraz is raising his level with each tournament and has become one of the fresh talents to look forward to on the ATP Tour.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

376 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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