'I'm not taking anything away from Rafael Nadal,' says Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz defended his Barcelona Open title in Sunday's final

by Jovica Ilic
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'I'm not taking anything away from Rafael Nadal,' says Carlos Alcaraz

World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz defended his Barcelona Open title after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The young gun played at a high level and beat the Greek 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 11 minutes for the ninth ATP title from 12 finals.

Speaking about Rafael Nadal's absence in the previous two years, Carlos answered that he does not want to take anything away from anyone, following his path and creating his history. The young Spaniard is 23-2 this season, returning to action in February after two injuries and winning three titles from five tournaments.

Carlos did not lose a set en route to his second consecutive Barcelona Open title, struggling a bit against Roberto Bautista Agut and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina but heading home with the trophy. Alcaraz left Tsitsipas behind and beat him for the fourth time from as many duels.

The Spaniard fired 26 winners and seven unforced errors, dominating with his initial shot and dropping ten points in ten service games. Tsitsipas broke once in the early stages and needed more to remain in contention. The Greek struggled on the second serve and got broken three times from six opportunities offered to his rival to lose his third Barcelona Open final!

Carlos kicked off the action with a hold at love in the encounter's first game before playing his only loose service game at 1-1.

Carlos Alcaraz is motivated to chase more good results in the future.

He netted a backhand on the third break point to fall 2-1 behind.

Tsitsipas lost the advantage after a costly double fault in the fourth game and struggled for the rest of the clash. Alcaraz moved 4-3 up with two fine holds and broke for the second time in the next one after a well-constructed attack.

The young gun served for the set at 5-3 and earned three set points with a powerful serve. Carlos converted the second with a service winner for 6-3 in 38 minutes and a boost. Both players served well at the start of the second set, and the home favorite landed a service winner to lock the result at 2-2.

Alcaraz placed a drop shot winner in the fifth game to earn break chances. He seized the second following Tsitsipas' loose backhand to open a 3-2 lead and move closer to the finish line. The home favorite grabbed the sixth game at 15 with an additional injection of pace.

Stefanos landed a drop shot winner in game seven to remain within one break deficit before Carlos produced an easy hold in the next one to open a 5-3 gap. A two-time finalist served to stay in the match in game nine and held at love to extend his chances.

Alcaraz served for the title defense at 5-4 and moved 30-0 up with a drop shot winner. A teenager fired a forehand down the line winner for three match points and converted the first with a mighty forehand winner that carried him over the top.

"I do not want to take over from anyone. I feel lucky to have so many people supporting me and giving me positive energy from the beginning. Rafa had to skip the last editions of the Barcelona Open, and I have been lucky to win two titles.

I have always wanted to compete against the best rivals, and it was a shame to miss potential duels against Rafa. I hope Rafa can play for many more years and we can enjoy his tennis. However, I'm not here to take anything away from anyone but to create my history," Carlos Alcaraz said.

Rafael Nadal Carlos Alcaraz Barcelona Open
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