World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz is through to the semi-final in Buenos Aires. The Spaniard is playing his first tournament after three and a half months, hoping to shape up his game as quickly as possible and leave injuries behind.
Alcaraz faced Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-final and scored a 6-4, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 33 minutes. Carlos hit four aces and saved three out of five break points. He grabbed over half of the return points and turned them into five breaks from ten opportunities, enough to emerge at the top in straight sets.
Alcaraz held at 30 in the encounter's first game with a service winner and broke at 15 in the next one following Lajovic's double fault.
Carlos Alcaraz is on the Buenos Aires title course.
The Serb saved three break points in the fourth game to get his name on the scoreboard and gain a boost.
The Spaniard lost focus and got broke at love in the fifth game to bring the rival back to the positive side. The young gun started all over and grabbed a break in game six for a 4-2 advantage. However, he sprayed a forehand error in the next one to suffer a break and keep Lajovic in contention.
Dusan saved a break point in game eight and held to lock the result at 4-4. With no room for further errors, Alcaraz held at 15 in game nine and earned a set point in the next one with a strong return. A teenager drew another mistake from his opponent to wrap up the set and gain confidence ahead of the second.
The Spaniard held at love at the start of the second set and broke at 15 in the next one when the Serb placed a forehand wide. Carlos worked hard in the third game and defended two break points to remain in front and forge a 3-0 advantage.
Lajovic reduced the deficit with a hold in game four, and Alcaraz clinched the next one with a service winner for 4-1. The youngster grabbed the seventh game with a perfect drop shot winner, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the match.
Lajovic wasted game points, and Alcaraz earned a match point with a smash winner at the net. World no. 2 seized it with a cracking forehand down the line winner that pushed him into the last four.