Carlos Alcaraz hits his straps at the Hamburg Open
Carlos Alcaraz overwhelmed Russia’s Karen Khachanov in a display that underlines why he is causing such a buzz.
Alcaraz advanced to the Hamburg Open semi-finals with 6-0, 6-2 victory over Khachanov that saw him hit 21 winners.
The 19-year-old Spaniard made a handful of errors but ultimately his aggressive game saw him make quick work of the World No 26.
“I played unbelievable today, probably one of my best matches this year,” Alcaraz said, repeating his sentiments from after his second-round victory against Filip Krajinovic. “I’m pretty happy with the performance that I’m playing in this tournament. Yesterday was amazing as well.
“I’m training every day to be solid and at the same time to be aggressive,” he added. “That is my game.”
Alcaraz is out to match his coach’s best performance in Hamburg and go one better by winning the final.
Juan Carlos Ferrero fell to compatriot Albert Portas in the 2001 final when the tournament concluded in a best of five sets clash.
Alcaraz says that he won’t let his coach forget it, if he is able to bag the Hamburg Open title.
“I will try to do my best in the semi-finals to be able to do the same result as Juan Carlos, and of course trying to fight into the final,” he said. “Of course to beat Juan Carlos, to try to win this tournament means a lot. If I win this tournament, I will make jokes to him that I am better than him. It would be amazing.”
A run to the title would ensure that Alcaraz remains unbeaten in ATP 500 tournaments and also moves into the top five in the ATP Rankings for the first time.
Alcaraz will face Alex Molcan in Saturday’s semi-finals in Hamburg.
Molcan battled his way ahead against Borna Coric, leading 7-6(7), 2-0 when the Croatian retired injured on Thursday evening.
The 24-year-old Molcan is seeking his first career ATP Tour title, meanwhile he will be aiming to match his best performance, having reached three finals including two this season in Marrakech and Lyon.
Playing for the first time since reaching the Wimbledon third round, Molcan defeated fourth seed and good friend of Alcaraz, Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(5) in the Hamburg second round.
Molcan is up 11 places to No. 37 in the ATP’s new Live Rankings this week, putting him on track for a new career-high, and he would crack the Top 30 if he was able to win the Hamburg title.
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