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‘Incredible’ Alcaraz reaches Barcelona semi-finals and world top 10

BARCELONA (AFP) – Carlos Alcaraz defeated top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a three-set rollercoaster to reach the Barcelona semi-finals on Friday and become the youngest player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to make the world top 10.

The 18-year-old saw off Tsitsipas, who had successfully defended his Monte Carlo Masters title last weekend, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

Tomorrow, Alcaraz will become the first teenager to make the top 10 since Andy Murray in 2007 and youngest since compatriot and 21-time major winner Nadal 17 years ago.

“Probably my biggest win on clay court. It was unbelievable,” said Alcaraz on court.

“Unbelievable match, unbelievable atmosphere that I lived today on court. It was unbelievable everything. It was incredible.”

Alcaraz’s 21st match win of 2022 could have been wrapped up in straight sets when he led 4-1 in the second set.

However, he recovered and swept through the decider to set up a semi-final showdown against Alex De Minaur as he looks to take another step closer to a third title of the year.

Friday’s victory was his third in three meetings against Tsitsipas whose mood on Friday was not helped when he was handed two separate point penalties for a mid-set break at 0-3 down in the third set and a time violation.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain. PHOTO: XINHUA