Carlos Alcaraz is two wins away from another Grand Slam title…
The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player put in one of the best performances of the year with an impressive straight-sets 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up a highly anticipated clash with Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals.
The match between Alcaraz and Tsitsipas – pitting the first and fifth seeds together – was expected to be tight, but in truth that was rarely the case, with Alcaraz putting in a highlight reel of a display that felt like it was taking the game to a new level thanks to his hybrid game style that at once is comparable to all of the greats that have come before him – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic.
And the clash between the latter and Alcaraz on Friday is expected to be a must-watch event.
Talking on court afterwards about how he’d managed to play so well, Alcaraz said: “Believing in myself, all the time. That’s the most important thing, not only for me but for everyone – believe in yourself. I always think I’m going to play this kind of matches, in this level – I would say that’s the key to everything, [to play] with enjoyment.”
Tsitsipas had begun the encounter with a comprehensive, ace-laden service hold, but that was about as good as it got for the Greek tennis player, as Alcaraz put the hammer down thereafter.
He broke Tsitsipas on his fourth break-point opportunity in game three, and then went a double break up later in the set when he took the Greek’s serve to love.
That game involved a stunning, running down-the-line pass that drew gasps from the crowd.
Alcaraz – via wonderful drop shots in back-to-back points – served it out thereafter as he took the opener in style.
In set two the masterclass continued as this time the Spaniard broke three times to double his advantage as he took it 6-1.
Tsitsipas began to celebrate ironically in set three when he won a point, such was Alcaraz’s total dominance of the encounter.
An early break saw the 20-year-old get halfway to the set, but Tsitsipas was battling hard and as Alcaraz served for the set at 5-3, the Greek took the second of his break points – his first such opportunities of the whole night – to suddenly make it interesting.
The third set went all the way to a tie-break as it got the ending it deserved for a more even contest, but it was Alcaraz who pulled away once more, taking it 7-5 and earning his spot to face Djokovic in a semi-final clash that will be watched the world over.