Carlos Alcaraz fires Stefanos Tsitsipas from Barcelona

We’ve known it for a while, it’s so clear and there’s no more doubt: Carlos Alcaraz is destined for a top tennis player. At almost 19 years old, the Andalusian is simply gifted for this game.

Friday evening, in a kind of apotheosis in Barcelona, ​​at the end of an incredible day and a large number of matches scheduled on the spot to make up for lost time and dispel the rain that fell hard the day before dominated the Spaniard for the third time in three confrontations the number 5 in the world, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in three sets (6-4, 5-7, 6-2), at the end of a colossal match, sometimes horrifying, sometimes just unreal .

For an hour, tennis produced by Alcaraz, but unlike what is probably best on clay today (in the absence of Rafael Nadal), had something miraculous.

His ability to attack, his ability to reverse a defensive situation and counter-attack with a racket stroke, his guts and his quality of touch on the drop shots, especially in the forehand chip, which he got this week hadn’t shown. Carlo, Carlos Alcaraz elevated the game to the rank of great art for an hour.

And it was necessary to be called Stefanos Tsitsipas, a very fresh winner in Monte-Carlo and a fine player on earth, to take up the challenge. With 14 winning tricks to 5 by the end of the first set, the world number 11 was then on another planet. And we thought he would never come down when he led 4-1, double break, in the second set, that the Carlos, Carlosdescended from the stands of the central pista Rafael Nadal, where the people were and stood in a trance.

But now the young Spaniard is still a few days 18 and Stefanos Tsitsipas has shriveled up his leather a bit more. And the moment he concluded a match he had so far played as if in a dream, Juan Carlos Ferrero’s protégé was logically a little tense. A few wrong choices, some more mistakes and especially a Greek, who appeared out of nowhere in the quarterfinals last week against Diego Schwartzman (0-4 ball 0-5 in the third set), who had the remedy in his pocket.

The toilet break is good for Alcaraz

With a much more aggressive serve on the second serve in particular, an earlier catch of the ball, the 2021 Roland-Garros finalist came off the ropes and Alcaraz scratched his head, lost five games in a row and gave up the move on a forehand error.

We thought the boy would shine as the deciding set approached. Instead, he used the tricks of the Greek, allowed himself a comfortable bathroom break, and cut Tsitsipas’ legs and rhythm clean. The Greek made a mistake with a forehand and then a backhand to resign from the game.


Carlos Alcaraz enters the top 10 on Monday.

Dismayed, he still bowed to 2-0, a long lead from Alcaraz’s stratospheric line! With another double break behind, Tsitsipas, cornered, strangely decided to go to the toilets at the switch sides. He clearly stayed there longer than the time allowed for a side change and was penalized two points to quickly get to 4-0.

This time Alcaraz would not flinch. He saved two breakpoints at 4-1, finishing his face-off with two backhands that hit like blows, one crossed, the other down the line, before ending the game with a service winner. After twice dominating Tsitspas on hard courts, Alcaraz had just tamed the Greek on ocher, his ground, and already offered himself a twentieth victory this season. In the semi-finals, he will face Australian Alex De Minaur, while the other poster of the final four will face Pablo Carreño Busta and Diego Schwartzman.

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