Carlos Alcaraz news: Spanish youngster ready to do battle for a semi-final place in Rio

Carlos Alcaraz with the Next Gen ATP Finals trophy

Spanish rising star Carlos Alcaraz has set himself up for a quarter final match against top seeded Matteo Berrettini in the Rio Open after he beat Federico Delbonis in the round of 16.

The 2021 Next Gen champion eventually managed to beat Delbonis 6-4 7-6 (1) in a match that started on Thursday and finished in the early hours of Saturday morning.

This is the first tournament Alcaraz has taken part in since he was beaten by Berrettini in the third round at the Australian Open earlier this year, and so far it’s been a hard one for the 18-year-old.

“It has been a really tough day,” the world No 29 said after the second round match.

“We were waiting for a long time, we didn’t know if we were going to play or not.

“It was really tough, but I’m really happy with the level and I’m really excited to play my first quarter-final here in Rio.”

But now Alcaraz has to turn his attention to his quarter final match against the Italian 25-year-old which to due to start on Saturday evening GMT.

Berrettini made it all the way to the semi-finals at the Happy Slam in January, where he was beaten by eventual champion Rafael Nadal, something Alcaraz hasn’t ignored ahead of their tie.

“Everyone knows the level of Matteo, I lifted myself in Melbourne but I think on clay it’s going to be a little bit different.

“His serve is not going to be as dangerous as on hard court, but I’m really excited to play against him.

“We’ve played great battles.”

Whoever is successful in this tie will go on to face either world No 38 Italian Fabio Fogini or 29-year-old Argentine Federico Coria in the semi-finals.

The Rio Open started on February 14 and will run until February 21 when the champion for the ATP 500 event will be crowned.