Rafael Nadal to take on Carlos Alcaraz in Vegas exhibition match

Twenty-two time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal will pit his wits against world number one Carlos Alcaraz in an exhibition match in Vegas next March.

The two celebrated Spaniards occupied the top two spots in the ATP rankings at the end of the 2022 season, having won three of the four major titles between them.

Nadal collected his 21st and 22nd Grand Slam triumphs at the Australian Open and French Open, while Alcaraz won his first major honour at the US Open in September.

Following their feats in the 2022 season, 19-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest year-end number one, while 36-year-old Nadal is the oldest year-end number two on record.

On Friday evening, it was announced that the pair would do battle in a one-off encounter at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, which both men have expressed their excitement over.

Carlos Alcaraz poses with his US Open trophy on September 11, 2022© Reuters

“I’m very excited for my first visit to Las Vegas, one of the most iconic and entertaining cities in the world,” tennis.com quotes Nadal as saying.

Meanwhile, Alcaraz added: “I’m honored and so happy to be sharing the court with Rafa in Las Vegas. Rafa also is one of the nicest guys on tour and I look forward to our match.”

Nadal and Alcaraz have met three times on the ATP Tour, with the 36-year-old claiming two wins and teenager Alcaraz prevailing over his compatriot once.

Nadal claimed a 6-1 6-2 win when the duo met for the first time in the second round of the 2021 Madrid Open, and he also beat Alcaraz in three sets in their Indian Wells semi-final earlier this year.

The Spanish pair last took to the court in the quarter-finals of the 2022 Madrid Open in May, where Alcaraz marched to a 6-2 1-6 6-3 win before also defeating Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev to win the title.

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