Alcaraz relishing Rafa showdown
Rising star Carlos Alcaraz has described the opportunity to play against Rafael Nadal as "a dream come true" ahead of Wednesday's meeting at the ATP Madrid Open.
The Spaniard beat Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-0 at La Caja Magica on Monday and will mark his 18th birthday by facing his all-conquering compatriot in Wednesday's second-round match.
Considered one of the brightest prospects in the men's game, Alcaraz became the youngest man to win a match at the Madrid Open with his dominant victory over Mannarino.
Ranked 120th in the world, he is coached by 2003 French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero and is expected to crack the ATP's top 100 in the near future.
While some have been quick to label the teenager as the next Nadal, Alcaraz has a lot of work to do if he's to match the achievements of the 20-time Grand Slam-winning Majorcan.
For now, he is just happy to get the chance to share a court with his idol.
"I am really, really happy. This is a special win for me here in Spain, here at La Caja Magica. [To] win a Masters 1000 match here is amazing," Alcaraz said after his first-round match.
"For me, [to] play against Rafa is a dream come true. Since I was a kid, I wished to play a match against Rafa and now I will be able to [on] the Centre Court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. It is a really special match against Rafa."
Alcaraz is 8.00 to pull off the upset against 1.083 shot Nadal and 101.00 to emulate his hero by winning next month's French Open.