Netflix Slam 2024: Alcaraz defeats Nadal on the night of the ‘show’ | Tennis | Sports

It was promised and fulfilled: Showa lot Show. Las Vegas, two major protagonists and in between Netflix, present in almost 200 countries and with nearly 250 million subscribers, one of the queens of the platforms and now launched into the vein of sport. Too juicy to let it slip away. On the dark mat of the Michelob Ultra Arena at the Mandalay Bay casino, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, two different eras; closing one and entering the other. That is, heavy artillery even though the episode is an exhibition. The balance finally falls in favor of the young man from Murcia in the tiebreaker, with suspense, like any good production: 3-6, 6-4 and 14-12, after two hours of play. And both are now preparing for the boarding to Indian Wells, which begins this week. They do it with a very different background. There, in the California desert, the El Palmar team will be with all its energy, and the Manacor team will try to get there no matter what.

On the track, two ways to understand the quote. More recreational Alcaraz, pure generation Z: fun or nothing. Despite the sprain that he has had in his right ankle since last week, he moves gracefully around the floor, light, like a rubber dancer. When hitting it, it is suspended and that chassis that is rather close to perfection – fibrous and strong, delicate and forceful at the same time – levitates for a few moments. His quadriceps are visible in the supports and powerfully draw the attention of the spectator in row four: “He looks like a horse!” He is still a colt, but he has plenty of cylinder capacity and his body contorts with an astonishing elasticity as he goes to chase the ball. You know, sometimes it also disconnects. But this time he can afford it. He Show rules, and in the Las Vegas gear even more so.

A lot celebrity, too much distraction involved. Take a close look at Pau Gasol, a couple of seats next to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones; Blanca Suárez also applauds and Charlize Theron takes her seat with the game starting. Good old Carlitos, of course, disperses, but Nadal’s seriousness in his performance calls him to order and contains the temptation. The Mallorcan, 38 years old on June 3, is a different story these days, battling with his physique and trying to get back on the circuit to be able to say goodbye properly, so he controls every gesture and every step, repressed because he would like to put in one more gear. and reality advises against it. Prudence, prudence and more prudence. Even so, he enjoys several strokes of his in the form of a whiplash. Match point against, he throws a devastating cross that brings the crowd to its feet.

Nadal does not lose his hand, much less his instinct, but these days you can see inner anxiety on his face, that of someone who has to say goodbye against his will. If it were up to him, he would play all his life. However, today it is all unknowns. Not even he himself knows when the outcome will be, he says. He hasn’t had a run this season either – three games, until his body stopped him in Brisbane; one more than the previous year – and, instead of decreasing, the number of questions has grown. The present is clear: the end is coming, and he continues to do everything to make it on track. Winning or not, but on the ground. Nowadays, each intervention of the Mallorcan must be savored as if it were the last, and that is why he supports him from the stands with his entire family, with his son in the woman’s arms.

Do everything possible in the serve maneuver, always risky for the muscles and tendons, and in the start it is logically difficult to get out. This last break has taken its toll on him. However, she stirs as always. Pay attention, David Ferrer or the swimmer Ona Carbonell, the skier Lindsay Vonn or the quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the man who took a knee against racism in 2016. Everyone has a great time and enjoys the final fireworks, with a scare when a spectator suffers an accident and the action is interrupted. The two tennis players are interested in her and then, Alcaraz, who has started the set down, has the Balearic against the ropes, but it will take five attempts to knock him down. Until the epilogue, Nadal will always be Nadal.

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