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Alcaraz and Nadal in a break from the action. AFP
Carlos Alcaraz comes out on top in all-Spanish 'Netflix Slam'
Tennis

Carlos Alcaraz comes out on top in all-Spanish 'Netflix Slam'

The 20-year-old required a super tie break to see off veteran Rafael Nadal in Las Vegas

Enric Gardiner

Malaga

Monday, 4 March 2024, 15:46

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World number two Carlos Alcaraz required a super tie-break to emerge victorious as the so-called Netflix Slam exhibition tennis match against Rafael Nadal entertained the masses both packed into the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas and via the online streaming service on Sunday night.

The exhibition, held in front of a capacity crowd of 12,000 spectators (including celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Lindsey Vonn, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dave Grohl, Ona Carbonell and Pau Gasol), provided a perfect blend of entertainment and competitive sport which served as testament to the pair's recovery from their respective injuries.

Alcaraz, who has been on the comeback trail from an ankle sprain sustained in Brazil, showcased his prowess by defeating Nadal 3-6, 6-4 and 14-12 in their first encounter since the beginning of the year.

Despite the relatively relaxed atmosphere, both Nadal and Alcaraz exhibited moments of intensity, showcasing the level of competition expected in official tournaments. Nadal dominated the first set, capitalising on Alcaraz's weak second serves, while the latter bounced back in the second set.

In the decisive super tie-break, Nadal and Alcaraz elevated their game, demonstrating a fierce determination to win. Despite Nadal's valiant effort, saving five match points, it was 20-year-old Alcaraz who emerged victorious, clinching the trophy.

The spectacle set an optimistic tone for the upcoming challenge of the Indian Wells Masters 1000, where 37-year-old Nadal will be looking to defend his title.

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