Five-time champion Nadal will meet the winner of #NextGenATP Alcaraz’s first-round encounter against Adrian Mannarino. No matter how talented 17-year-old Alcaraz may be, a first-round challenge against wily French veteran Mannarino is not to be taken lightly. A Madrid clash against Nadal would be a dream for Alcaraz, but the Murcia native’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, will make sure his charge does not look past his first-round contestant.
Nadal is aiming to win his first title in the Spanish capital since 2017, when he defeated Dominic Thiem in the final. The Austrian joins Nadal in the top half of this year’s draw.
Nadal enters the tournament fresh from his 12th title run at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The World No. 2 saved a championship point in a dramatic three-hour, 38-minute final last week to end Stefanos Tsitsipas’ 9-0 unbeaten start to the European clay swing. Tsitsipas features in the bottom half of the draw alongside second seed Daniil Medvedev.
Alcaraz is not the only #NextGenATP talent in Nadal’s section of the draw. Miami runner-up Jannik Sinner, Acapulco titlist Alexander Zverev and Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz are also in Nadal’s quarter of the draw.