Rafael Nadal one day. Novak Djokovic next.
The list of victims of Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz continues to grow.
Most important points:
- Spanish 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has become the youngest player to reach a final at the Madrid Open, beating world number one Novak Djokovic to get there
- The victory followed Alcaraz’s victory over Spanish clay-court master Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals
- Alcaraz has already won this year in Rio De Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona
And so is the hype about the latest tennis sensation.
After beating his idol Nadal in the quarter-finals on Friday (local time), 19-year-old Alcaraz rallied to defeat Djokovic 6-7 (7/5), 7-5, 7-6 (7/7) defeat. 5) after more than three and a half hours on Saturday to reach the Madrid Open final.
“It was one of those games to enjoy,” said Alcaraz.
Alcaraz converted on his third match point to take the win – his 27th of the year – in front of a raucous home crowd at the Caja Mágica center court.
“It’s incredible to play against the number one player in the world, in front of this audience here in Madrid.
A win on Sunday gives Alcaraz his fourth title this season, the most of any player. He already booked tournament victories in Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona.
He will compete against defending champion Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Alcaraz, the youngest player in the top 10 since Nadal in 2005, has won this year in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.
He defeated Nadal for the first time on Friday and triumphed in their first game against Djokovic.
Djokovic will remain untitled this season as he continues to try to regain his best form during his title defense at the French Open this month.
Alcaraz, the youngest ever to reach the Madrid semi-final, took an early lead in the first set, but Djokovic rallied.
The Spaniard took the second set after Djokovic wasted three break chances to serve for the match, and kept up the pressure in the third until he finally took advantage of one of his many tiebreak opportunities.
The match winner was one of over 30 forehand winners from Alcaraz who kept Djokovic on the defensive the entire time. Alcaraz had 51 winners against Djokovic’s 24.
“It was so close,” Alcaraz said. “He had the chances to break my serve at the end of the second set. Also in the first set it was so close in the tie-break. Frankly, I don’t know what made the difference.”
Djokovic praised Alcaraz after his arrival in Madrid this week and said his son Nadal had already replaced the young Spaniard as his favorite player.