Carlos Alcaraz retires handing Holger Rune first Masters semi-final
Holger Rune has reached the last four of the Paris Masters after Carlos Alcaraz was forced to retire injured.
Rune had been on the brink of victory as he held a 3-1 lead in a second set tiebreak after taking the opening set with a strong start to the match between the two breakout stars of 2022.
The Dane’s fantastic year has been overshadowed by an absurd season from Alcaraz and Rune would surely be the clear young player of the year if it wasn’t for the Spaniard’s heroics.
After his strong opening to he match Rune held firm to force a tie-break as World No 1 Alcaraz upped his level in the second stanza.
Alcaraz needed to be treated for an abdominal and couldn’t continue the match.
The win sets up Rune for his first ATP 1000 semi-final.
“I thought it was a great match. [It’s] unlucky for him,” Rune mused afterwards.
“I think we both played very well and I was super focused. It was an amazing crowd, amazing tennis, so I’m super pleased with how I handled everything today.”
Rune will next take on Felix Auger-Aliassime in his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.
The eighth-seeded Auger-Aliassime was dominant thanks to a clinical first serve and sharp return game that allowed him to down Tiafoe and seal his 16th consecutive tour-level triumph.
“Of course a few times the luck was on my side, but I feel like also I played a great match,” said Auger-Aliassime.
“We’ve played a few times. In New York [in 2021] it was tight sets, we played in Barcelona this year also, two not easy sets. To come out and play the way I did in the first set, 6-1, it was great.
“Of course, I had match points at 5-3… [He] tried everything and tried many different ways to stay in the match. He did for one more game, but I’m happy that I was able to be clutch in those moments. Serving for the match and [I] stayed cool and played great points when I needed to.”
Auger-Aliassime is enjoying his rich vein of form and looking to tighten up his serve even more.
“I feel better and better,” said Auger-Aliassime.
“I heard Novak [Djokovic] saying yesterday that you can always improve and he’s won how many Grand Slams, so I can definitely improve a lot more in future. Of course right now I’m playing well and feeling good, but I see things that I can still do better and still improve on to be able to top the game.”
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