“On court there’s no friends” – Alcaraz moves past Carreno Busta to set popcorn semi with Auger-Aliassime in Basel

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-4 on Friday afternoon and will play Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, the No 3 seed, in the next round

Carlos Alcaraz, Basel, 2022 Carlos Alcaraz, Basel, 2022 | © STT / Panoramic

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz won against No 5 seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last four of the Swiss Indoors at the Halle Saint-Jacques in Basel on Friday.

Alcaraz, ranked No 1, will play Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, the No 3 seed, next.

No time for friendship on court

After his victory, the 55th of his resplendent season, the 19-year-old Spaniard talked of the difficulties of facing his best friend on tour.

“It’s difficult to play against a friend like Pablo, we share every day, we go to have dinner, lunch – everything we’ve done together this week, every week, every tournament, even in the academy, we train together as well,” he said. “So it’s difficult to play against him. I always support him and always want [him] to win every match.

“But obviously on court there’s no friends – you have to be focused, you have to go for the match, and that’s what I did.”

Alcaraz struck 18 winners against 15 unforced to improve to 2-0 lifetime against his compatriot, and 55-11 on the season.

Looking ahead to clash with Auger-Aliassime

Next up the world No 1 will try to rectify an 0-2 lifetime record against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Canadian has been the story of the post US Open indoor season thus far, as he has reeled off 11 consecutive victories, winning titles in Florence and Antwerp and powering into the semis in Basel with three more wins.

Alcaraz retired in the pair’s first meeting at the 2021 US Open, then lost to Auger-Aliassime at Davis Cup last month, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2.

“Well as you said last year [at US Open 2021], it wasn’t my 100 percent but in the Davis Cup, we played a great match from both parts. I was tired, of course, but I gave everything and he deserved the win.

“I know he’s gonna be a really tough match. He’s playing really well. He had great victories this year. Of course, at the end of the year as well. I have to be really focused to learn from my mistakes in the past matches and, yes, I will try to show my best tennis against him, 100 percent. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s match.” 

Alcaraz edged out Jack Draper (3-6, 6-2, 7-5) and beat Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp (6-4, 6-2) in the previous rounds at the Swiss indoors.

Earlier in the tournament, Carreno Busta, ranked No 15, won against Argentinian Sebastian Baez (6-2, 6-1) and edged out Swiss wildcard Dominic Stricker (7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-4).

Basle ATP 500, other last eight results (Halle Saint-Jacques, EUR 2.135.350, most recent results first):

  • Holger Rune vs. Arthur Rinderknech
  • Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Stan Wawrinka
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Alexander Bublik: 6-2, 6-3

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