Alcaraz, for an unprecedented triplet in Madrid

No one has managed to win three titles in a row in the history of the tournament

April 19, 2024

Mutua Madrid Open

Carlos Alcaraz is the champion of the last two editions.
By Staff

Winning the Mutua Madrid Open is an achievement within the reach of a select few. In a record made up of a group of tennis players who have been No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings on the ATP Tour, two names stand out above the rest for having been the only ones capable of revalidating the complicated status of current champions: Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

Thus, in 2024 Alcaraz has another unprecedented record within reach at the Mutua Madrid Open. No one has yet been able to chain three editions lifting the champion trophy. Only Nadal has been the closest after winning the 2013 and 2014 editions consecutively and reaching the 2015 final.

“It’s something I’m not thinking about right now,” Alcaraz explained about the possibility of that triplet. “For now I just want to enjoy the tournament, prepare well and give everything from the first game. Then we’ll see if we can go far.”

Alcaraz has it in his power to continue breaking molds in front of his audience and in his talismanic tournament. The good chemistry of the US Open and Wimbledon champion with Madrid is a fact that can write a new page of his particular idyll.

“Playing in Madrid is playing at home,” said the current world No. 3. “They are two very special and very beautiful weeks. I am lucky to have a lot of support when I play abroad, anywhere in the world, but the support I receive here is incomparable. And I would say that because of my style of play, the height of Madrid favors me. “I really like playing here.”

The first time the Murcian lifted the trophy at the Caja Mágica was very special. After two hard-fought victories against the Georgian Nikoloz Bashilashvili (6-3, 7-5) and the British Cameron Norrie (6-4, 6-7[4]6-3) two games arrived that will surely remain in the memories of the fans of the Manolo Santana Stadium.

Alcaraz became the youngest tennis player and the first to beat Nadal (6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals) and Djokovic (6-7) on clay[5]7-5, 7-6[5] in the semi-finals). Against the Serbian he overcame a marathon of three hours and 36 minutes before becoming the youngest champion in Madrid, at 19 years and three days, beating the Mallorcan (19 years and five months).

“It is difficult to have to choose one [de esas victorias]”, confessed Alcaraz. “In 2022, when I won the title for the first time, I faced Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev consecutively. That wasn’t bad… Last year it was difficult for me to win the first match against Ruusuvuori and the final against Struff was also difficult.”

In the last edition, the El Palmar tennis player expanded his legend. After overcoming a difficult debut, having to come back against the Finnish Emiil Ruusuvuori (2-6, 6-4, 6-2), the highway to the final was clear as he never lost a set again against Grigor Dimitrov ( 6-2, 7-5), Zverev (6-1, 6-2), Karen Khachanov (6-4, 7-5) and Borna Coric (6-4, 6-3).

Jan-Lennard Struff, who surprised everyone by becoming the first ‘lucky-loser’ in an ATP Masters 1000 final, forced Alcaraz to fight his defense of the throne in an even duel decided in the third set (6-4 , 3-6, 6-3).

“What I like most about Carlos Alcaraz is his bravery,” acknowledged Feliciano López, director of the Mutua Madrid Open. “He seems to me to be a tremendously brave player who is not afraid to face the best, we have seen him like this since he started, when he was 17, 18 years old… He has faced the three best in history even if it was only for a short time.”

“I think I would highlight his bravery, his self-confidence, his way of being on the court,” López added. “I think he is one of those different players who never knows what is going to happen and that seems incredible to me. Carlos has that. That bravery, that variety of blows for me is the hallmark that Carlitos has. It comes at a time when tennis has a similar style of play, suddenly a boy arrives who surprises you, who drops you, who puts you on the net, who attacks, who defends… That’s why I think he likes it. so much to the people.”

Alcaraz faces a complicated, but equally special, challenge: to be the first tennis player in history to win the Mutua Madrid Open three times. Almost nothing.


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