Rafael Nadal is back in business. The 36-year-old Spanish legend is nearing the end of his rehabilitative phase after he tore his psoas muscle during the 2023 Australian Open. The updates from him and tournament officials have gotten fans jumping in joy at the prospect of witnessing their favourite star back on the tennis court.
After Nadal declared that he would participate in the 2024 Australian Open in his first tournament since he took a hiatus, streaming giant Netflix dropped a bombshell by announcing an exhibition match between Rafa and fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz next year.
When is Rafael Nadal’s ‘The Netflix Slam’ against Carlos Alcaraz?
In an attempt to shore up its content to compete with fellow streamers like Disney Hotstar +, Netflix announced a foray into sports and in its first live streaming of a match, it lined up a star-studded pair of performers, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.
The exhibition match will happen on March 3rd, 2 months after the Australian Open concludes. The event will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States and will be live streamed by Netflix.
The matchup between Rafa and Alcaraz will bring in a slew of fans to the stadium as many have been anticipating this reunion since 2022. Carlos himself has admitted to viewing Rafa as an inspiration and has talked in length about teaming up with the veteran in the Davis Cup.
Nadal will have hopefully put up an excellent show in Melbourne before the event and would want to showcase his ageless talent in front of the much younger and in-his-prime Alcaraz.
Nadal’s previous meetings with Alcaraz
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have met three times in total, with Nadal leading the 20-year-old 2-1.
Their first meeting was at the 2021 Madrid Open in an outdoor clay court where Nadal showed a young Alcaraz why he was the ‘King of Clay’ by demolishing the teenager in straight sets.
2022 was the year Alcaraz really came into his own and hit the peak of his form in a season where he went on to win the US Open. In their second meeting at the 2022 Indian Wells, Carlos was more astute in defense and offensively quick and he pushed Nadal to the brink before going down in three sets.
At their third meeting at the 2022 Madrid Open, Alcaraz would finally open his account against Rafael Nadal and exact revenge on the elderly Spaniard’s favourite court. Despite Nadal bouncing back to win the second set, Alcaraz would triumph 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
Nadal has had quite a disappointing past 10 months where he has had to deal with the pain of his injury as well as missing out on professional tennis in what could very well be his last few months on the court before he retires.
What are your opinions on the Netflix-streamed live match between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz? Let us know in the comments section.