MADRID – After defeating Rafael Nadal on Friday, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz did it again on Saturday by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open.
After defeating Nadal, his idol, in the quarter-finals, the 19-year-old went on to beat Djokovic 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in a match that lasted over 3½ hours. To reach the Madrid Open final.
“It was one of those games to enjoy,” Alcaraz said. “Despite the tension, despite being in the semi-finals of the Masters 1000, I was 7-6 in the third tiebreak…I enjoyed it. Until the last point I was able to smile.”
Alcaraz converted his third match point to win in front of a raucous crowd at Caja Magica Central Stadium. He became the first player to defeat both Djokovic and Nadal in the same clay court event.
“Playing against the No. 1 player in the world, in front of this crowd here in Madrid, it’s unbelievable,” he said.
Sunday’s win would give Alcaraz their fourth title of the season, the most of any player.
He will face defending champion Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas, who met late in Saturday’s semi-final.
Alcaraz, the youngest player in the top 10 since Nadal in 2005, won this year in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.
He beat Nadal for the first time on Friday, then beat Djokovic in their first match, becoming the fifth player to defeat the two superstars in consecutive days – and the first to do so since Roger Federer achieved the feat. at the 2010 ATP Finals.
Alcaraz also became the youngest player to defeat the ATP world number one since Nadal’s victory over Federer in the 2005 French Open semi-final on his 19th birthday.
Djokovic is still without a title this season as he continues to try to regain his best form in defense of his title at the French Open this month.
Alcaraz, the youngest ever to reach the Madrid semi-finals, took the first set but Djokovic recovered.
The Spaniard took the second set after Djokovic missed three break points for the match, and kept pressing through the third until he finally took advantage of one of his many tiebreakers.
The match winner came is one of more than 30 forehands won by Alcars that kept Djokovic on the defensive throughout. Alcaraz scored 51 wins against Djokovic’s 24.
“It was very close,” Alcaraz said. “He had break chances at the end of the second set. In the first set also he was very close in the tiebreak. I honestly don’t know what made the difference.”
Djokovic praised Alcaraz after arriving in Madrid this week, and said his son had already replaced Nadal with the young Spaniard as his favorite player.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.