Barcelona Open 2022: Carlos Alcaraz stuns Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach semis

After leading by a set and a break in the middle stanza, Alcaraz needed to regroup after Tsitsipas dominated the end of the game.

Carlos Alcaraz at the 2022 Barcelona Open. (Image: Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz won the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell for the first time on Spanish soil on Friday. With a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 victory over top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 18-year-old overcame a comeback bid from top seed Jaume Munar earlier in the day to reach his fourth semi-final of the season. After leading by a set and a break in the middle stanza, Alcaraz needed to regroup after Tsitsipas dominated the end of the game. He did all of that and more in the decider, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and letting out his loudest roar of the match as he opened the set with a momentum-shifting break.

“Probably my biggest win on clay court. It was unbelievable,” said Alcaraz, who will crack the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. “Unbelievable game that I played, unbelievable atmosphere that I lived today on court. It was unbelievable everything. The atmosphere here, the crowd, the level that I played, the level of the match. It was incredible.”

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Each of the three ATP Head2Head meetings in this developing rivalry has been a high-quality thriller, with Alcaraz edging out the Greek on all three occasions. Both men were eager to attack Pista Rafa Nadal in their first clay-court meeting. Both players complemented their strong serving with vicious ground strokes as they battled to a tiebreaker in the first set. But Alcaraz made his move in the ninth game with a tried-and-true strategy: after three break points at 0/40, Tsitsipas was left stranded by a clever drop shot.

In the stanza, Alcaraz won 12 of the last 13 points. The match came to a tense conclusion when a frustrated Tsitsipas unleashed a forehand passing shot that went wide but forced his opponent to duck at the net. As the Spanish audience booed, Alcaraz locked his gaze on Tsitsipas, who walked back to his chair, unmoved.

As he rode a wave of winners to a double break lead in the second, it appeared that Alcaraz would have the final say. Tsitsipas gradually worked his way back into the match after breaking at love for 4-1. Tsitsipas, who enjoys longer rallies on both serve and return, reeled off four straight games to reclaim his serve. Alcaraz’s level dropped as he increased his. The trend continued in the 12th game of the set, when Tsitsipas gained parity thanks to an Alcaraz error.

Sportslumo Desk

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