« Back to articlePrint this article

Madrid Open: Alcaraz stays on course for fourth title of 2023

Last updated on: May 04, 2023 06:13 IST

IMAGE: Carlos Alcaraz entered the semifinals of the Madrid Open with a win over Karen Khachanov. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

World number two Carlos Alcaraz stayed on course for his fourth title of 2023 by powering into the semi-finals of the Madrid Open with a 6-4 7-5 win over Russian Karen Khachanov on Thursday.

Defending his title from last year, Alcaraz will be looking to celebrate his 20th birthday on Friday with a win against either Croatian Borna Coric or surprise German qualifier Daniel Altmaier in his sixth Masters 1000 event semi-final.

Alcaraz managed to break the Russian's serve in the seventh game, closing the first set 6-4.


However, the Spaniard began the second set a little distracted and allowed Khachanov to open up a 4-1 lead before he woke up to fight back and win the match in under two hours.

"Winning this match gives me a lot of confidence," Alcaraz said.

"Karen had been playing at a high level and took me to the limit, it was decided by small details.

"I will train for Friday, but with a lot of tranquillity and calm, I will not be overwhelmed and I have to be fresh."

Alcaraz has reached 18 consecutive wins in Spanish clay-court tournaments since losing to Rafael Nadal in Madrid two years ago on his 19th birthday.

His winning percentage overall on clay is already the third best since 2010 (82.3%), behind only Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

In the women's singles, world number one Iga Swiatek showed her clay-court dominance after she beat Petra Martic 6-0, 6-3 later on Wednesday.

Swiatek will face Veronika Kudermetova for a place in the final after the Russian beat American Jessica Pegula 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 and reach the Madrid Open semis earlier.

"I think it was a pretty solid and clean performance," Swiatek told a news conference.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I focused. I was pretty consistent with my tactics and I think it paid off."

© Copyright 2024 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.