ATP Madrid: Carlos Alcaraz tops Novak Djokovic in clash of titans
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 8931
Carlos Alcaraz is through to the final at the Madrid Masters following an epic 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 victory over Novak Djokovic after three hours and 35 minutes! Carlos is through to his second Masters 1000 final, and he became the first player who defeated Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the same event on clay!
Carlos made a perfect start and broke Djokovic in the encounter's opening game. In game two, the youngster fended off a break chance to cement the lead and open a 2-0 gap. Novak raised his level behind the initial shot in the rest of the set and delivered one good hold after another to keep the pressure on the other side.
Carlos saved a break point in game six to open a 4-2 gap before Novak broke him two games later after Carlos' loose backhand for 4-4 in 35 minutes. The Spaniard held at deuce with a service winner in game ten for more drama, and they both served well to introduce a tie break.
Djokovic was a better player in the tie break and built a 5-1 lead.
Carlos Alcaraz prevailed over Novak Djokovic after a thrilling battle.
Alcaraz climbed back to 5-6 before Novak closed it in the 12th point after the rival's backhand mistake for 7-6 in 62 minutes!
Novak erased a break point at 2-3 in the second set and made an important hold to lock the result. Alcaraz faced problems behind the initial shot for the first time since the start of the set at 4-4, and he fended off a break point to increase his chances and gain a boost.
A teenager erased a break chance with another crafty drop shot and grabbed a break in the next one with a forehand down the line winner to force a decider after two hours and seven minutes! Novak had to dig deep in the final set's games four and six, surviving break points and remaining on the positive side against a determined opponent.
Carlos fended off a break chance in game seven, and they stayed neck and neck with the clock showing the three-hour mark. Alcaraz fired two winners at 30-30 in game nine to bring it home and gain a massive boost from the crowd.
Novak saved a match point with an ace in game ten and held with powerful serves for 5-5. Both players served well in games 11 and 12 to set a deciding tie break. Novak sprayed a forehand error in the second point to fall 2-0 behind and claimed the third point after catching Carlos' drop shot.
Alcaraz moved 3-1 ahead with a backhand down the line bullet, and Djokovic pulled the mini-break back with a volley winner at the net in the fifth point. The Spaniard pulled the trigger in the sixth point to open a 4-2 gap, and the Serb won the next point with a service winner to stay in touch.
Carlos opened a 5-3 lead with a good serve, and Novak reduced the deficit with a deep return. Djokovic sprayed a forehand mistake in the tenth point to face two match points. Novak saved the first with a service winner, and Carlos seized the second with a forehand down the line winner for an epic victory!