Advantage Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid Open quarterfinals, says Rafael Nadal | tennis news

Rafael Nadal said he will be the underdog when the 21-time Grand Slam champion meets teenager Carlos Alcaraz in a match between the Spaniards in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open on Friday.
Australian Open champion Nadal is playing his first tournament since suffering a rib injury in Indian Wells in March and expects a “very tough” test against the 19-year-old.
“I think he’s better than me today and he has good momentum, good swing,” said Nadal, who saved four match points to go 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(9) to David Goffin defeat Thursday.
“I think Alcaraz is in better physical shape, fitter… he’s younger so he has that extra energy. I can see who has an advantage from the start in tomorrow’s game.”
Alcaraz, who defeated Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 to set up a third career meeting with Nadal, has drawn comparisons to his compatriot after winning three titles and finishing in the top 10 this year of the world had risen.
“He’s the best player in the world on clay…even if he says I’m the favourite, that he’s not fit enough…you always have to think of Rafa as a favorite because he’s won here five times,” said Alcaraz , who had lost his last two matches.
“Of course I dream and fight to be the best. As I said earlier, to be the best you have to beat the best and the best. I think I’m ready to achieve that ultimate goal.”

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