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Pablo Carreno Busta upended, teen sizzles at Madrid

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Qualifier Federico Delbonis knocked off 10th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta and wild card Carlos Alcaraz won in straight sets Monday to set up a date with Rafael Nadal on the clay courts at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Alcaraz, who turns 18 on Wednesday, recorded 19 forehand winners in a 6-4, 6-0 win over Adrian Mannarino of France in the first round. He’ll play five-time tourney champ Nadal in the second round.

“For me, [to] play against Rafa is a dream come true,” the Spaniard said. “Since I was a kid, I wished to play a match against Rafa and now I will be able to here [on] the Centre Court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. It is a really special match against Rafa.

“They always say the 18th birthday is special, but it will be even more special to turn 18 playing against one of the best tennis players of all time, and the best for me,” Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference. “Rafa is one of my childhood idols. It’s going to be very special.”

Argentina’s Delbonis came from a set down to defeat Spain’s Carreno-Busta 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours, two minutes in the last match of the day.

Fabio Fognini needed three sets to defeat Spanish qualifier Carlos Taberner 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3 in two hours, 15 minutes. Fognini will meet Matteo Berrettini in an all-Italy match next.

In other action, South African Lloyd Harris defeated No. 13 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Chilean Cristian Garin had an easy go of it against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-4 in 88 minutes. Verdasco committed 32 unforced errors to just 15 for Garin. Chile’s No. 1 player saved all eight break points he faced.

Britain’s Daniel Evans needed two hours, 46 minutes to oust Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-2.

American qualifier Marcos Giron defeated Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-7 (8), 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a marathon 3-hour, 26-minute match. Giron has a quick turnaround against No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem on Tuesday night.

American John Isner downed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Russian Aslan Karatsev made quick work of France’s Ugo Humbert 7-5, 6-4.

Germany’s Dominik Koepfer defeated American Reilly Opelka in straight sets 6-4 6-4. Koepfer will take on Garin in the second round.

–Field Level Media

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