In-form Alcaraz shocks Djokovic to reach Madrid final
Teenager Carlos Alcaraz reaches Madrid Open final with three-set win over Novak Djokovic – a day after beating Rafael Nadal; Spaniard now targeting fourth title of 2022 when he faces either Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final
Last Updated: 07/05/22 8:13pm
Carlos Alcaraz followed his win over Rafael Nadal with victory over World No 1 Novak Djokovic to reach the Madrid Open final, where he will be bidding for his fourth title of the year.
The 19-year-old beat Djokovic 6-7 7-5 7-6 in Saturday’s semi-final in what was the players’ first meeting and will now face either Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s title match.
Alcaraz, the youngest Madrid Open finalist in history, is hoping to land his second ATP Masters 1000 title having won the Miami Open last month.
The Spaniard has also tasted victory in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona in 2022, with his form taking him into the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time.
Alcaraz overcame countryman and five-time Madrid Open champion Nadal in three sets on Friday, becoming the first teenager to defeat the 21-time grand slam winner on clay.
His win over Djokovic a day later – in which he amassed 51 winners to his opponent’s 24 – means he is now the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic on consecutive days on a clay court.
Alcaraz’s victory over Djokovic saw him rally from losing the opening set to take the next two and extend his opponent’s wait for his first title of the year.
Djokovic was beaten by Andrey Rublev in the final of the Serbia Open, while he suffered a shock defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last 32 in Monte Carlo and was dumped out at the quarter-final stage by Jiri Vesely in Dubai.
The 34-year-old missed the Australian Open – which was won by Nadal – and the American hard-court swing due to his vaccination status.
Djokovic was broken by Alcaraz in the first game of Saturday’s semi-final and 4-2 behind at one stage, although he fought back to win on a tiebreak.
Alcaraz won a competitive second set having saved two break points at 4-4 and another at 5-5 which, if converted, would have allowed Djokovic to serve for the match.
Djokovic then saved a match point in the deciding set but Alcaraz was not to be denied as he celebrated a second huge scalp in as many days.