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Alcaraz wows the crowd, tops Tsitsipas to move into Barcelona semi-finals – and Top 10
The teenager is into the Top 10 for the very first time in his career – and not the last
Carlos Alcaraz put on a superlative display to knock top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas out of the Barcelona Open, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, and move into the last four in his home country.
The win also means that the teenager will move into the ATP Top 10 next week for the very first time.
“This was probably my biggest win on a clay court,” Alcaraz said afterwards. “It was unbelievable, the game that I played, the atmosphere on court, the level of the match – everything!”
The first set concluded in dramatic and controversial style. On set point, a frustrated Tsitsipas lashed the ball past Alcaraz, forcing him to duck out of the way, and drew plenty of boos from the Spanish crowd. It was unsurprising; the Greek had been outplayed by his young opponent, who had hit 14 winners compared to his five. Alcaraz seemed unrattled, though, simply staring back at his adversary.
“I went to the bathroom, tuned out my mind, tried to change how I played at the end of the second set, forget everything of the match and give 100 per cent on the third set,” he reflected afterwards.
Alcaraz – I’m ready for the title
And he began the second set in sensational style, painting the lines with aplomb and bringing the crowd to their feet as he seized an early break. The teenager was mixing up laser-accurate hitting with the deftness of a drop shot, and luring Tsitsipas into playing too quickly and too loosely, taking a 4-1 lead.
But the top seed proceeded to draw out the rallies, winning six out of the next seven games, putting the pressure on Alcaraz, who could not hold his serve to stay in the set.
It was a one-set shoot-out, and after a delay of almost eight minutes as the Spaniard went off court, Alcaraz came out firing, getting the double-break to take a 3-0 lead.
Tsitsipas headed off himself at the change of ends, complaining on his return about the length of Alcaraz’s absence – ironically, given the reaction to the Greek’s own spells off court in recent months. He then failed to realise that he had received a violation and point penalty for his time-keeping, and began to argue further with the umpire.
Alcaraz did not allow the chaos to disrupt him, though, keeping his backhand in good order to tear Tsitsipas apart and conclude a famous victory.
He will now play Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals, who beat Cameron Norrie 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
“I beat the favourite. He came from winning Monte-Carlo…I’m playing an incredible level and I’m ready to get a title,” added Alcaraz rather ominously.
In the other semi-final, Diego Schwartzman will face Pablo Carreno Busta.