Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas set for all-star clash in Barcelona

Carlos Alcaraz

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz booked his place in the last eight with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over countryman Jaume Munar before Stefanos Tsitsipas joined him by knocking out Grigor Dimitrov.

Despite being the top seed the draw has not been kind to Tsitsipas who needed three sets to get past Ivan Ivashka in a match that straddled Wednesday and Thursday.

The Greek World No 5 then faced Dimitrov for his sins but was able to dispatch the Bulgarian in an hour and ten minutes.

Alcaraz breezed through his match against Munar in dominant fashion and said he was looking forward to a challenging quarterfinal.

“It is amazing to play here,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “It is even more special when I win. I think I am playing at a good level and I love playing in front of the Spanish crowd. I am now focused on the next round. My energy levels are at 100 per cent. I will give 100 per cent against Grigor or Tsitsipas.”

Alcaraz’s meteoric rise is put into perspective by the contrast between his 2021 Barcelona Open and this year’s event.

The 18-year-old was ranked outside of the top 100 of the rankings when he lost his first round match a year ago, now he is World No 11 and looking set to break into the top ten.

Tsitsipas has lost both of his previous meetings against Alcaraz although the brace of defeats came on hard courts earlier this season.

Alex de Minaur also advanced into the last eight after South African Lloyd Harris was forced to retire.

De Minaur was leading 6-0 in 20 minutes when the match was called to a halt.

The Australian will next meet World No 10 Cameron Norrie who saw off Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in their match on Friday.

It will be a day of double duty for both Alcaraz and Tsitsipas who are scheduled to play again on Friday after weather-hit sessions earlier in the week.

Tsitsipas is aiming to once again reach the Barcelona Open final and go one better than his runner-up trophy from last season.