Alcaraz Outlasts Djokovic In Madrid Masters Epic, Will Face Zverev For Title
by Staff | May 7th, 2022, 6:56 pm

Carlos Alcaraz did it again. A day after stunning his idol Rafael Nadal, Alcaraz outlasted world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) in a Madrid Masters semifinal thriller.

The 19-year-old Alcaraz becomes the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back on clay, and the youngest to ever do it.

In this first time tussle, Djokovic overcame an early break and then rode a strong serving performance to take the first set which he nearly let slip a 6-2 lead in the breaker.

His serving wasn’t as effective in the second, but he still managed to get a look at a break for 5-3. However, Alcaraz’s near-perfect use of dropshots were the difference in the second and the Spaniard was able to break Djokovic and force a decider.

No breaks in the decider but Djokovic saved a match point with an ace. In the final breaker, Alcaraz jumped ahead and never let go to earn his first career win over a No. 1, and his sixth straight Top 10 win.

“I don’t know what the difference was,” said Alcaraz. “It was so close. He had the chances to break my serve at the end of the second set. In the first set as well it was so close in the tie-break. Honestly I don’t know what made the difference.

“This gives me a lot of confidence to play the final tomorrow,” he said. “I know that I played a really good game, and for the rest of the season I think I am able to play against the best players in the world and beat them as well, so it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Djokovic was impressed with Alcaraz in his first up-front viewing.

“Congrats to him. He held his nerve very well,” Djokovic said. “For somebody of his age to play so maturely and courageously is impressive. He deserved to win.

“His kick in altitude here is huge, and it was just difficult to deal with his ball, and I wasn’t feeling my return from that side. He was serving a lot of kick just to put himself in a good position.”

After issues with fatigue last month, Djokovic was strong late in the 3 hour, 35 minute match, and he was inches from closing out the teen.

“I definitely played very good tennis, I mean, the best that I have played this year,” Djokovic said. “Probably when the disappointment of losing this match passes, I will have a lot of positives to take away from this week.”

Alcaraz will look to beat a third straight multi-Madrid champion tomorrow when he takes on Alexander Zverev.

Zverev continued his title defense earning a first win on clay over Monte Carlo winner Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Zverev wasn’t great on second serve, but was on first and that was the difference.

“I thought from yesterday onwards I started to play really well,” said Zverev. “Im just extremely happy to be in the final here. I know it’s going to be an extremely tough match tomorrow but I hope I can manage to play my best and give myself a chance.”

He’s also 2-0 against Alcaraz with two easy wins last year.

“Yes, I have been playing well, so I’m just renting it,” said Zverev of his good play on the Madrid stadium. “It’s going to be his court for the next 15 years probably. It has been Rafa’s court for the past 15 years and it’s going to be his court for the next 15 years.

“I just hope I can give him some trouble and I hope I can manage to win tomorrow.”

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2 Comments for Alcaraz Outlasts Djokovic In Madrid Masters Epic, Will Face Zverev For Title

Giles Says:

Amazing young man. Well done Carlos!

skeezer Says:

“Right now you are the best player in the world. ..”

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