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Carlos Alcaraz Shares His One Birthday Wish in Madrid

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open Facebook

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates his 19th birthday on Thursday.

The Barcelona champion isn’t asking for party favors.

Alcaraz has one birthday wish: a Rafael Nadal rematch in a Madrid.

The seventh-seeded Alcaraz has a first-round bye and will face Nikoloz Basilashvili in his Madrid opener.

Both Alcaraz and Nadal need to win two matches to set up a Madrid quarterfinal rematch that could just fall on Alcaraz’s birthday.

“Hopefully I will be able to play on my birthday. I wish for that,” Alcaraz told the media in Madrid. “It’s a special day, where last year I was able to play against Rafa, and this year I wish I will be able to play the match on my birthday on Thursday. Hopefully I will be able to win this year.”

A year ago, Nadal schooled Alcaraz 6-1, 6-2 in the Madrid round of 32. In their Indian Wells rematch last March, Nadal fought off a ferocious Alcaraz and a fractured rib prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a three-hour marathon.

Yesterday, Alcaraz partnered Nadal’s coach and good buddy Marc Lopez to a doubles win in Lopez’s farewell tournament. Nadal and Lopez famously partnered to capture the doubles gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Miami Open champion Alcaraz came close to cracking the code against the king of clay in Indian Wells and is a much more confident player these days. He has cause for confidence: the world No. 9 carries a 23-3 record, including an 11-1 mark on dirt, into Madrid.

Alcaraz, who excelled before home fans in a rousing Barcelona performance, says he’s ready to make Madrid magic.

“Every single tournament that I step into, I think that I am able to win it,” Alcaraz said. “I think I have the level and the physical state to win it. You know, this is tennis and anything can happen.

“I feel ready. I feel with the confidence, and I think that I can do a really good result, can achieve a really good result here in Madrid.”