Carlos Alcaraz explains Rafael Nadal motivation to winning Madrid Open title

Alcaraz became the first player ever to defeat Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back on the clay, and the first player in 15 years to defeat the top three seeds in successive matches when he downed second seed Zverev in 62 minutes to lift the Madrid Open title. Posing with his second Masters 1000 title and fifth overall, the Spaniard appeared to copy his countryman Nadal’s trademark celebration as he bit the trophy for a photo.

Speaking after his win, he admitted that wasn’t the only thing he looked to Nadal for, as he said years of watching the world No 4 win five titles in Madrid gave him the motivation to get a victory of his own in the Caja Magica. “Watching Rafa lifting this trophy [for] so many years made me a lot of power to work hard for this moment,” he told Amazon Prime.

“I mean it’s a great moment for me, this tournament is the first tournament that I watch since [I was] a kid so lifting this trophy today is so emotional.” The teenager who will now rise to world No 6 also touched on his impressive run of wins over the top three seeds, saying he’d had the “best” week of his life just three days after turning 19.

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“I’m 19-years-old,” he laughed. “This is the key to be able to play long matches and tough matches in a row. But I think I’m ready physically to play these kinds of matches.

“Not three, I think even more tough matches in a row, so I think I’m ready.” It now remains to be seen whether the newly-crowned Madrid Open champion will still be fresh enough to compete in next week’s Italian Open, where he will face Cristian Garin in the first round, but Alcaraz sounds more than up for another week of three-set battles after his hard-fought week on home soil. 

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