Carlos Alcaraz arranges possible Rafael Nadal clash in Barcelona

Carlos Alcaraz will seek his third consecutive Barcelona Open title in April

by Jovica Ilic
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Carlos Alcaraz arranges possible Rafael Nadal clash in Barcelona
© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

A two-time defending Barcelona Open champion, Carlos Alcaraz, will compete at the home event for the fourth straight year in April. Carlos is the second player confirmed for the 2024 edition, joining his legendary compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Thus, Alcaraz and Nadal could arrange a thrilling clash in front of the home fans, especially if Rafa recovers his A-game by the clay swing. After losing in the first qualifying round in 2022, Alcaraz debuted in the Barcelona main draw a year later, losing to Frances Tiafoe in the first round.

The Spaniard raised his level in the following 12 months, becoming one of the world's best players and the favorite in Barcelona. A teenager prevailed over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-final and performed a marvelous comeback against Alex de Minaur in the semi-final for a place in the title clash.

Alcaraz met fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and earned a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win in 65 minutes, lifting his first Barcelona Open title at 18. Carlos made 500 ATP points and became a top-10 player the following day. The young gun tamed his strokes nicely, firing 18 winners and ten unforced errors and never facing a break point.

Carlos Alcaraz will challenge Rafael Nadal in Barcelona in April.

Carreno Busta was far away from that pace, hitting too many mistakes and losing serve four times, enough to propel a teenager over the top. Alcaraz returned to Barcelona as world no.

2 last year, scoring five straight-sets wins and defending the title. Carlos met Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final and delivered a 6-3, 6-4 win in an hour and 18 minutes, remaining perfect against the Greek. It was Carlos' 23rd victory from 25 matches in 2023, controlling the pace on serve and return and extending his streak at this event.

The Spaniard looked mighty impressive with 26 winners and seven unforced errors, losing ten points in his games and keeping the pressure on the other side. Tsitsipas struggled behind the second serve and lost serve three times, enough to push the young gun over the top and finish runner-up in his third Barcelona Open final.

Carlos made a slow start and lost serve in the encounter's third game after a backhand error.

Carlos Alcaraz, Barcelona Open 2022© David Ramos / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Stefanos failed to cement the lead, hitting a double fault in the fourth game and bringing his rival back to 2-2.

Alcaraz served well and broke for the second time at 4-3, serving for the set in game nine. Carlos seized a set point with a service winner, wrapping up the opener 6-3 in 38 minutes. Alcaraz leveled the score at 2-2 in the second set with a powerful serve and pushed strong on the return in the next one.

The Spaniard clinched a break when the Greek played a loose backhand, moving a set and a break in front. Carlos moved 4-2 in front with a hold at 15, and Stefanos reduced the deficit with a drop shot winner a few minutes later.

Alcaraz held easily in game eight and served for the title at 5-4 following Tsitsipas' hold at love. A teenager created three match points with a forehand down the line winner and seized the first with a powerful forehand winner, celebrating his second Barcelona Open title in a row.

Carlos Alcaraz Rafael Nadal Barcelona Open
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