Carlos Alcaraz claims 20th straight win on Spanish soil to celebrate 20th birthday
Carlos Alcaraz has set up a Madrid Open final on his 20th birthday with his 20th straight win on Spanish soil.
Alcaraz celebrated the end of his teens by overcoming the resistance of Borna Coric and clinch a 6-4, 6-3 semi-final victory at the clay-court ATP Masters 1000.
Alcaraz had to be at his best to overcome Coric’s tenacity.
The added diversity in the Spaniard’s game proved crucial to his victory, as he repeatedly dragged the eager Coric about Manolo Santana Stadium and converted four of six break points to win in one hour and 41 minutes.
“It means a lot to me, playing a final again here in Madrid,” said Carlos Alcaraz. “It’s such a special place for me and I have great memories since I came here to play [as an] under-12. Of course last year was amazing.
“Turning 20 like that is special, so I will enjoy the final here and of course I will try to make all of Spain happy.”
After successfully defending his Barcelona title two weeks ago, Alcaraz will compete for his fourth ATP Tour title in Spain on Sunday when he faces Aslan Karatsev or Jan-Lennard Struff in the final.
If he successfully defends his title at the Caja Magica, the Spaniard may reclaim the top spot in the ATP Rankings by playing a match at the Rome Masters later this month.
“I enjoy playing here in Madrid. I always try to make [the fans] happy and myself happy as well,” said Alcaraz, when asked about the pressure of playing in front of a home crowd.
“I don’t think about the pressure here, I just think about playing a great game, getting good results. It’s a really special place for me, I enjoy every second here, so that’s all I think about.”
While Coric’s quickness around the court may have forced Alcaraz to abandon his trademark drop shot on Friday, the approach still allowed him to disturb the Cincy champion’s baseline rhythm. That proved key for the top seed, who broke open a close first set by gaining its sole break in the fifth game.
The match featured a series of lengthy exchanges that tested the players’ physicality, with both players making few unforced errors. Despite reclaiming an early break to tie the second set at 2-2, Coric’s efforts looked to catch up with him, as he had no response to the World No 2’s blitz of furious forehands.
“It was a goal for me at the beginning of the match, trying to start the point playing aggressive,” said Alcaraz. “This is something I look for in every match, trying to attack on the return and of course trying to play with my forehand. I feel really comfortable playing with that. I think I hurt the opponent especially with the forehand and of course the drop shot, so this is a key and I’m trying to do it in every match.”
Iga Swiatek closing in on astonishing prize money breakthrough as she joins tennis rich list
Polish star Iga Swiatek set to join the game’s ultimate rich list.
New British No 1 could be crowned before the start of Wimbledon
Cameron Norrie could be ousted as British No 1 by a surging Jack Draper.
Speculation swirls over Andy Murray’s retirement as possible final schedule emerges
Murray could play a ‘farewell tour’ of British tournaments before playing his final competitive match at Wimbledon in July.
Who wins the battle between a peak Roger Federer and a vintage Novak Djokovic?
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic never got a chance to face off when they were at their very best – so who would have won?
How Jannik Sinner can make Open Era history with feat that eluded Djokovic, Nadal, Federer
Jannik Sinner can make tennis history if he wins the title in Indian Wells.
Eleven players who have served 8,000+ aces on the ATP Tour: Roger Federer 3rd
Only two active players feature on the list of players who have served 8,000+ aces.
Novak Djokovic could face a fall in the tennis ranking he endorses
Djokovic is in the midst of his 414th week at the top of the ATP ranking, but he could slide in the updated UTR ranking.
Toni Nadal hits out at ‘hypocritical’ criticism over controversial Rafael Nadal move
“How do you help improve a country more, by boycotting Saudi Arabia or helping its young people?”
Andy Murray suggests change he made to copy Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer is behind his struggles
Andy Murray has made a change to his racket to mirror Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
2024 Indian Wells Open: Will Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal play? When is the draw?
All the info you needed ahead of the 2024 Indian Wells Open.