Alcaraz offers Nadal and a half against Djokovic in Madrid


This time it’s the right one for Carlos Alcaraz. Coming very close to beating Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells this year, the young Spaniard (19 years old since Thursday) overcame his idol this Friday, in the quarter-finals in Madrid (6-2, 1-6, 6-3 ). Here he is in the last four, where he will challenge Novak Djokovic on Saturday.

For their second clash of the year, and a year after Mallorca’s big victory on the same court (6-1, 6-2), Carlos Alcaraz intended to show all of Spain that he was capable of holding the high sugared almond to its glorious elder. Under the eyes of certain football personalities who came to attend the match, such as Raul, Toni Kroos and David Villa, the two players went blow for blow from the first minutes of play.

Alcaraz more enterprising

If neither of the two players managed to keep his commitment during the three inaugural games, it was Carlos Alcaraz who was the most enterprising to take the lead first, and lead 3-1. Often serving the backhand side of his opponent to get him out of the court as much as possible, Juan Carlos Ferrero’s protege was able to dictate the game with his forehand. Despite a poor first-ball percentage (56% in the first set), Alcaraz rested on their fundamentals to never falter and pocket the first set, 6-2. Between amortizations, successive volleys and patience in the exchange, evidenced by his fatal acceleration of forehand to turn 5-2, the younger of the two players suffocated Nadal for three quarters of an hour.

A fall and a fright

Logically winner of the first act thanks to his 19 winning moves (against only two for his opponent), Alcaraz got closer to a first success against the man with 21 Grand Slam titles, until he fell in the third game of the second set. Strapped in the right foot, he then suffered the fury of an invigorated compatriot, who became much more powerful in the forehand. Less inspired on the fly as on the return of service, where he committed a few backhand faults, he logically saw the world No. 4 equalize at one set everywhere (6-1).

Everyone then wondered if “Rafa” was going to do it again. One more time. But like what we have seen of him for several months, Carlos Alcaraz did not let himself be defeated, shooting a monstrous passing shot to prevent Nadal from giving himself two break points in the third game. ultimate set. A miracle that looks like a turning point, since only a few minutes after saving his face-off, Alcaraz broke his opponent white.

An advantage that proved decisive for the recent winner of the Barcelona tournament, victorious after a final forehand passing and almost 2h30 ‘of play (6-2, 1-6, 6-3). If Rafael Nadal seemed tested by his long fight the day before against David Goffin, Carlos Alcaraz never panicked when converting his opportunities. All this on the center court of Spain’s most important tournament, against the best player of all time on the surface. The mark of the greats.

37

Carlos Alcaraz had 37 winners against only 10 for Rafael Nadal.

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