Carlos Alcaraz beat Novak Djokovic in the semifinal of the Madrid Masters to extend his dream run in the Spanish capital.
A day after the 19-year-old took out Rafael Nadal, he toppled World No 1 Djokovic 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) on Saturday.
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The win makes Alcaraz the first player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic at the same clay-court event and moves him to a 27-3 match record for the season.
“I don’t know what the difference [between us] was,” said Alcaraz after his three-hour, 35-minute win.
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“It was so close. He had the chances to break my serve at the end of the second set. In the first set as well it was so close in the tie-break. Honestly I don’t know what made the difference.”
Alcaraz struck 51 winners to Djokovic’s 24 as his aggressive style and consistent use of drop shots caused Djokovic constant problems in the pair’s maiden tour meeting.
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The teenager also proved steely under pressure in saving five of six break points he faced, with Djokovic saving eight out of 10 as both players frequently found big serves to dig themselves out of trouble.
Alcaraz’s outstanding 2022 season has seen the Spaniard win a maiden Masters 1000 title in Miami and break into the Top 10 for the first time.
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Defeating Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back in Madrid extends his winning streak over Top 10 opponents to six, an indication that the 19-year-old possesses the level to consistently match the very best on Tour.
In Sunday’s final, he will take on Alexander Zverev.
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Zverev avenged a Monte Carlo semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory at the same stage in Madrid.