Carlos Alcaraz has expressed his anticipation to play Rafael Nadal in Las Vegas in March 2024. The match will be part of Netflixslam, held at Michelob ULTRA Arena on March 3rd. Netflixslam will be Netflix’s inaugural live tennis event, featuring a one-night exhibition match.
On Tuesday, the ATP World No. 2 posted a clip on his X (formerly Twitter) account that featured him and Rafael Nadal against a backdrop of distinctive Las Vegas architecture. In the caption of the post, Alcaraz expressed his excitement and eagerness to face Nadal.
“See you in Las Vegas, Rafael Nadal!
I cannot wait to play there with Rafa on March 3rd!” Alcaraz captioned
Nadal announced his return to tennis in early December after spending the majority of the 2023 season off the court due to injuries that required surgery. The 22-time Grand Slam champion will kick off his season at the Brisbane International.
Alcaraz and Nadal have a good relationship, and the former has always referred to Nadal as his idol. A notable instance was when Alcaraz told the press about the text he received from Nadal before he faced Novak Djokovic in the 2023 Wimbledon final.
Alcaraz appreciated the gesture by stating that Nadal’s message came at the most important moment of his career.
“That someone like him, an idol of my childhood and who continues to be so, sends you strength and luck for the most important moment of your life is something to admire,” Alcaraz said
Nadal, through an Instagram post, also congratulated his compatriot Alcaraz when the 20-year-old won the 2023 Wimbledon title.
“You have given us immense joy today and for sure our pioneer in Spanish tennis, Manolo Santana, has also been cheering wherever he is as a member of Wimbledon whom you have joined today,” Nadal captioned
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have played against each other three times on the ATP tour
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are two different generations of tennis stars. Despite the 17-year gap between Nadal and Alcaraz, they have been able to battle it out on the tennis court. The duo has faced each other three times. The first instance was in the third round of the 2021 Madrid Open when Nadal defeated Alcaraz with scores of 6-1, 6-2.
They faced off again in the semifinal of the 2022 Indian Wells, but this time Nadal needed three sets to defeat Carlos Alcaraz as the match ended 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Rafael Nadal was eventually defeated in the final by American tennis sensation Taylor Fritz.
Their most recent encounter was on the home turf, a Spanish affair. They met in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Madrid Masters. The match ended 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in favor of Alcaraz as he clinched his first Madrid Masters title.