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Nadal relieved he ‘won’t face Alcaraz many times’ after Netflix Slam face-off | Tennis News

22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal was stunned by world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz in their epic face-off in Las Vegas for The Netflix Slam, which was labelled as ‘legend vs prodigy’. Nadal roared to a one-set lead in just over half an hour before getting the break back in the second set. But Alcaraz halted Nadal’s march to a win in the exhibition match as he forced a decider, where he held nerves in the 26-point tiebreak to win the inaugural Netflix Slam. Following the loss, Nadal admitted that he was relieved knowing he won’t encounter Alcaraz many times in his career.

(L-R) Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal attend The Netflix Slam at Michelob ULTRA Arena on March 03, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada(Getty Images via AFP)
(L-R) Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal attend The Netflix Slam at Michelob ULTRA Arena on March 03, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada(Getty Images via AFP)

Nadal got an early break in the match to win the opening set 6-3 before dropping serve in the second set immediately. He did get the break back, but Alcaraz broke again to win the set 6-4. That win gave him the much-needed momentum going into the 10-point tiebreak. The 20-year-old let five match points slip, but eventually closed it out 14-12.

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Speaking in the post-match presentation, Nadal, on a light-hearted note, said: “It’s a good thing that as a player I will not face him many times,” which subsequently indicated towards his earlier remark that the impending clay court season might be his last as a professional.

The 37-year-old, however, admitted that he will keep enjoying watching Alcaraz, who has already won two Grand Slams in his career.

“As a fan, I will enjoy watching him for many years hopefully! He’s a big challenge. It’s completely different generations. In Spain, we should be very, very happy about having someone like Carlos coming. He’s an amazing player. He’s only 20 years old and he’s already won two Slams and a couple of important tournaments,” he added.

Nadal and Alcaraz will next head to California to participate in the Indian Wells, which will get underway from Thursday onwards. Nadal has already been told that he will play his opener on Friday.

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