Darwin Blanch's priceless reaction upon learning he is playing Rafael Nadal in Madrid

Blanch had a relatable response about playing the 'King of Clay' in the first round of the Madrid Open
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Ever wonder how tennis players react when learning the draw of a tournament? I am always especially curious about the qualifiers and young players' feelings when they see their draw. 16-year-old American Darwin Blanch, ranked just outside the Top 1000 gave us a clue how he felt when he learned that he was playing Rafael Nadal in the first round of the Madrid Open.

Blanch is 0-1 in his ATP career. He shared a Snapchat selfie with this priceless post about being matched against the 5-time Madrid Open and the "King of Clay" Rafael Nadal on his home soil.

We totally empathize with Darwin Blanch. He is trying to get his professional career off the ground and will be feeling overwhelmed and amazed to be at this level against one of the Big 3.

Blanch and Nadal are part of the "circle of tennis"

Stats make the story even more interesting. Nadal is 21 years older than Blanch. He had three French Open titles and an Olympic gold medal before Blanch was born.

Once upon a time, Nadal was in Blanch's shoes. He was a teenager playing an aging legend of the game in Andre Agassi so Nadal understands and likely appreciates the irony.

If Blanch is blessed enough to have a long and successful career, he will find himself on the other end of this comparison in twenty or so years. In the meantime, he has to prepare for Nadal.

Honestly, this is not the Nadal of five years ago so no one knows what to expect. Injuries have been devastating for him the past few years, and even Rafa does not consider himself a favorite to win a clay court title. A new serving motion is incorporated into Nadal's game as a way to take pressure off an abdominal injury sustained in January.

Regardless of what happens, Blanch will have a story to tell his grandchildren someday. He faced the King of Clay on his home soil as the heavy underdog even though Nadal has been injured more than healthy in the past couple of years.

Unexpected events happen in tennis all of the time, and Blanch may have the same reaction if he upsets Nadal. Blanch plays Nadal on Wednesday, April 24 at approximately 4:00 AM EDT; the Tennis Channel will have full coverage of the Madrid Open from the first ball beginning Tuesday, April 23.

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