It’s a Wimbledon rematch for Carlos Alcaraz.
The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player and World No. 1 erased a match point in the second set and rallied past unseeded Hubert Hurkacz 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the semifinals on Saturday to reach the Western & Southern Open final.
Alcaraz won six straight points in the second-set tiebreaker to reach his eighth final of the season. He beat Djokovic last month at Wimbledon to win his second major title and deny Djokovic his 24th.
Alcaraz is the youngest Cincinnati finalist since 19-year-old Pete Sampras in 1991. He’s trying to become the youngest champion since Boris Becker won at 17 in 1985.
Despite going to a third set in each of his four matches this week, Alcaraz says he’ll be ready for the final.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m playing third sets or long matches, I’m recovering really well,” Alcaraz said. “I feel like I’m going to play the first match of the tournament. I feel great.”
Last week in Toronto, Alcaraz needed two tiebreakers to beat Hurkacz after losing the first set.
“Playing against Hubert is always tough,” Alcaraz said. “We played until the final ball. I was really happy to get that win today. He’s one of the best servers in the tour.”
Djokovic, 36, is the oldest Cincinnati finalist in the professional era, dating to 1968, surpassing 35-year old Ken Rosewall in 1970.
Earlier in the week, it was announced that Alcaraz and Djokovic will participate in the group stage of the Davis Cup finals next month.
Alcaraz and Djokovic were included in the teams announced Monday by Spain and Serbia, respectively, for the competition that will be played September 12-17 in Valencia, Spain.