Madrid Open: Alcaraz beats Nadal; Tsitsipas sets up Zverev clash
Number seven seed Carlos Alcaraz humbled Spanish ace, Rafael Nadal, in the quarters of the 2022 Madrid Open. The 19-year-old beat Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 at the Manolo Santana Stadium on Friday. Alcaraz will now face world number one, Novak Djokovic, in the semis later this evening. Number four seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will lock horns with Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals. Here's more.
Alcaraz dished out four aces and won 67% on his first serve. He converted four of his five break points. He pocketed a total of 73 points to Nadal's 71. Alcaraz claimed 31 receiving points and 42 points on serves.
It was Alcaraz's first win over Nadal in three career match-ups. Notably, he is the first teenager to beat Nadal on clay court. As per ATP, Alcaraz would now be competing in his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. He now enjoys a five-match win streak over Top 10 (ATP Rankings) players. Interestingly, Alcaraz would be facing Djokovic for the first time in his career.
Alcaraz said that victory over Nadal meant a lot for him. "It means a lot to me. All the hard work that I put in every day pays off today. To beat Rafa, to beat the best player in the history of clay, it means a lot to me," said Alcaraz post the win over five-time Madrid Open winner.
"His growth, his improvement, and his journey particularly the last six months has been amazing," said Djokovic ahead of his semi-final match-up against Alcaraz. Notably, Alcaraz has risen to sixth in the latest ATP Rankings, having gained 3 places. Meanwhile, Djokovic hasn't dropped a set in the tourney underway. He beat Gael Monfils (6-3, 6-2), Andy Murray (walkover), and Hubert Hurkacz (6-3, 6-4).
Tsitsipas hammered number six seed, Andrey Rublev, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in the quarters. He will face the defending champion, Alexander Zverev, in the semis. Zverev clinched a 6-3, 7-5 win over the number eight seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarters. Zverev now enjoys a 5-2 win record over Aliassime in the ATP head-to-head series. Despite his nine double-faults, Zverev sealed the seal (84 points).
Zverev is the reigning champion at the Madrid Open. However, he has a 3-7 win-loss record against Tsitsipas. Plus, Zverev hasn't beaten the Greek on clay across three meetings to date.
Tsitsipas is leading the ATP Tour with 27 wins in 2022. He had reached the semis at the Australian Open and the final at the Rotterdam Open. He defended his title at the Monte Carlo Masters in the month of April.
Zverev has won five ATP Masters 1000 titles. He has two of those titles at the Madrid Open (2018, 2021). He overcame Matteo Berrettini 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 (2021). Zverev has won more ATP Masters 1000 titles than any active player outside of the Big Four.