MADRID, Spain – After storming into the Madrid Open final on Saturday, Carlos Alcaraz feels after becoming the first, the sky is the limit. Man to beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same clay tournament.
The 19-year-old Spaniard defeated Djokovic 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) in front of a sell-out home crowd at the Caja Magica to reach his second ATP Masters final in five weeks and record his first win over a reigning world number one.
This season, Alcaraz has a tour-best seven wins over top-10 players. He has a nine-match winning streak going into. Sunday’s final against reigning champion Alexander Zverev having won in Barcelona just a few weeks earlier.
He is the first player in 17 years to defeat world number one.
“So I don’t believe,” Alcaraz said when asked whether he sees a limit to what he can do. “I’m incredibly delighted to be able to play a second Masters 1000 final, just like I did in Miami.”
“I feel ready to fight against them (the best players) in every event, on every surface,” the Miami winner remarked.
With a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory against Greek world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas. In a match that ended at 1:06 a.m. local time, Zverev advanced to his third Madrid final (2306 GMT Saturday).
The German second seed won in the Spanish capital in 2018 and 2021. Has extended its winning streak in Madrid to nine consecutive games. Zverev has won his previous two encounters against Alcaraz.
Thanks to a well-timed backhand, a calm and focused Alcaraz opened the match against Djokovic with a service. He was soon rate 31st with the top seed.
Djokovic, who turns 35 this month, fought back to 44th as the set ended in a tiebreak.
The fiery Djokovic took advantage of 51 and quickly got 4 set points.
Alcaraz saves the first with a positive comeback and another with an ace. The Spaniard saved a third with a one-shot to reduce their deficit to 56, but Djokovic closed the set with his fourth chance in 62 minutes.
In the second set, the players stuck with each other until Alcaraz took the lead in game 12, winning crucial fights on the net and using perfect cushioning when needed.
Murcia’s natives hold on breaks and sets with sensational get, ran down a drop shot from Djokovic, and hit the winner outside the double.