Alcaraz will take on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in his first-round match on Monday. The 17-year-old has already drawn comparisons with Rafael Nadal, given his nationality and his ferocious topspin-heavy shot-making at such a young age.
Now, Nadal himself has showered rich praise on the teenager. During his pre-tournament press conference in Madrid, the 20-time Major champion opined that Alcaraz is an extraordinary player who is destined for greatness.
Nadal also claimed that Alcaraz could learn a great deal if the two of them met in the Madrid second round.
"Alcaraz is a very young player with a great present and an even better future," Rafael Nadal said. "He has very positive values that are appropriate for today's era. He can be a good example, and well, obviously, if he came to play against me it would be very important for him."
Speaking about his own play, Rafael Nadal asserted that he cannot afford to rest on his laurels after his Barcelona Open win. According to the 34-year-old, it is important for him to 'keep working' in order to attain peak form at the Madrid Open.
"The only thing I can do is keep working and be able to compete at my best level since the beginning of the tournament, I hope that is the case," Nadal said.
"I feel very well" - Rafael Nadal ahead of his Madrid Open campaign
Rafael Nadal also provided an update on his physical condition ahead of the Madrid Open. He confirmed that he has no ailments as of now and that he has been working hard in training since Friday.
"I feel very well," the Mallorcan said. "On Friday I trained in a double session, yesterday the same and today I may also do it. I have been training a lot and I am very happy to be able to to be here."
The World No. 2 went on to express his disappointment at the fact that he has to remain confined in his hotel room when not at the Caja Magica. There are some strict restrictions in place for both male and female players at the Mutua Madrid Open, due to multiple events taking place at the same time.
"It's a shame that we can't go out for a walk around the city, but they are rules that the WTA has imposed," Nadal added. "We will have a strict confinement as they have other tournaments. We have to accept these protocols."