June 14, 2024
Carlos Alcaraz

The Spaniard’s special day falls during the championship match at his home Masters 1000 event this year.
On Monday night in Madrid, Carlos Alcaraz attended the Laureus World Sports Awards to fulfill a special role.

The two-time major winner was on hand to present the Laureus World Sports Breakthrough of the Year award 12 months after winning it. The 2024 honor ultimately went to Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, an athlete Alcaraz greatly respects.

“For me, it’s difficult to believe he’s 20. Right now, if he’s not the best player in the world, he’s one of the best ones,” Alcaraz told ATP Media.

Carlos Alcaraz is set to play his final tournament as a 20-year-old and it comes at a place that has always been close to his heart: the Mutua Madrid Open.

“Every year I spend my birthday here since I was 12,” he said.

“In Madrid, it starts everything. This one was the first tournament that I came (to) as a fan, to watch tennis, to watch the best players in the world. I remember walking around, watching the practices, watching the matches. I felt I really wanted to be here one day. That’s why I started to work even harder.”

Three years ago, Alcaraz lost on his special day inside Manolo Santana Stadium. He took it in stride, for the opportunity that had presented itself was greater than any victory or defeat.

“It was a quite cool gift for me celebrating my 18th birthday playing against my idol, against Rafa for the first time here in Madrid. Everything was perfect. It’s something that I will never forget for sure,” reflected the El Palmar native.

Carlos Alcaraz
The first seed Alcaraz could meet in Madrid is No. 28 Lorenzo Musetti.

A year later, Carlos Alcaraz overcame Cameron Norrie when he turned 19. It was the start of a remarkable four-day stretch, as Alcaraz avenged his loss to Nadal the following day, then battled past Novak Djokovic for a third consecutive three-set win and finished by dismantling Alexander Zverev for the trophy.

In 2023, Alcaraz celebrated his 20th birthday by ending Borna Coric’s hopes in the semifinals—and went on to retain the title by edging out Jan-Lennard Struff. If Alcaraz wants to enjoy another birthday win, this year’s schedule requires him to complete the three-peat.

“I hope to make it.”

Carlos Alcaraz is returning from a right arm injury that forced him to miss Monte Carlo and Barcelona, where he was also the two-time reigning champion. With Djokovic out of the event, Alcaraz is seeded No. 2 and plays the winner of a first-round contest between Arthur Rinderknech and Alexander Shevchenko.

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