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Carlos Alcaraz Reaches Madrid Open Semis In Final Match As Teenager | Tennis News

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday moved into the Madrid Open semi-finals with a straight sets victory over Karen Khachanov in his final match as a teenager, while Iga Swiatek reached the women’s last four. US Open winner Alcaraz, who turns 20 on Friday when the last-four ties are played, overturned 4-1 and 5-2 deficits in the second set to defeat 12th-ranked Khachanov, 6-4, 7-5. “Winning this match will give me a lot of confidence, Karen was at a great level and took me to the limit,” said world number two Alcaraz who unleashed 31 winners.

“It was decided by small details and I am very, very happy to be able to get through this round.”

The top seed triumphed in one hour and 52 minutes and will next face Borna Coric of Croatia who eased past German lucky loser Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-3.

“It was pretty tough. The first set as well, it was close,” added Alcaraz whose record on clay this year now stands at 17 wins against one defeat.

“I was in trouble in the second set, a break down and he had two break points to have the second break. So it was really tough for me to come back and he had his chances to win the second set.

“Luckily I knew I was going to have my chances. I just tried to take my opportunities and I’m really happy to get through.”

If Alcaraz lifts the trophy on Sunday in the Spanish capital, he will knock Novak Djokovic from top spot in the rankings simply by playing a match at the Italian Open in Rome next week.

Djokovic missed the Madrid Open with an elbow injury.

Alcaraz blew away Alexander Zverev on Tuesday in a repeat of last year’s Madrid final, but Khachanov put up stiffer opposition.

The Russian, who knocked out compatriot Andrey Rublev this week and also reached the Australian Open semi-finals, showed no fear in the first set despite his opponent’s form.

– Swiatek eases through –
Eventually Alcaraz found a decisive break to take a 4-3 lead with a strong forehand which Khachanov could not return successfully.

The Spaniard consolidated and served it out.

In the second set Khachanov broke for a 3-1 lead when Alcaraz went long after saving a first break point.

The Russian forced two more in the sixth game but could not convert either as Alcaraz fought hard to hold.

Alcaraz’s perseverance paid off as he broke with a volley to get back on serve at 4-5.

The Spaniard consolidated his break and then earned another when Khachanov hit the net with an attempted forehand winner.

Aiming for his 10th tour level title the crowd-pleasing home favourite sealed his progress with a powerful forehand drive.

Women’s world number one Swiatek raced into the semi-finals with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Croatia’s Petra Martic.

The world number one, playing the event for only the second time, will take on Russian 12th seed Veronika Kudermetova on Thursday for a place in the final.

Swiatek lost just eight points in a completely one-sided first set before one break of serve in the second set proved enough to send her into a fifth successive WTA Tour semi-final.

The Polish star has now won eight straight matches as she bids to hit top form in time for the start of her French Open title defence later this month.

“I feel like I’m playing better and better every day,” said Swiatek.

“This is pretty great, because I didn’t know if that was going to be possible at the beginning of the tournament.”

Kudermetova ousted world number three Jessica Pegula 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 in a topsy-turvy clash.

The 26-year-old beat the American five-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist to reach a WTA 1000 event semi-final for the first time, recovering after a collapse in the second.

It will be the 26-year-old’s third semi-final appearance of 2023 following Adelaide and Doha.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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