Carlos Alcaraz – Stefanos Tsitsipas, dream poster in the final in Barcelona! The Spanish prodigy made short work of Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday and will face the No. 2 seed, winner of Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 5, in the final of the ATP 500 tournament in Barcelona on Sunday. -7, 6-3.
Abused at the start of the tournament, the world No.2 Alcaraz however managed to grab a second final in a row in Barcelona, and will try to keep his crown against Tsitsipas, fifth in the world and pushed to three sets by the Italian Musetti on Saturday.
It will be the third final for the Greek, defeated twice by Rafael Nadal in 2018 and 2021, but the fallen finalist of the last Australian Open in January will have a hard time dealing with the phenomenon of Murcia, winner of his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2 last year, at just 18 years old.
Alcaraz had also dismissed the Greek 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the last edition.
After two weeks of interruption due to physical glitches at the end of the Miami Masters 1000, which he left in the semi-finals after a loss in three sets 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 2-6 against Italy’s Jannik Sinner, Alcaraz struggled in the round of 16 and quarter-finals in Barcelona, but won arguably their easiest game of their tournament on Saturday in the semi-finals.
“It’s so special to play a final here in Barcelona, a tournament that I love. When I was very young, I came to watch a few matches in this tournament and I played for this club when I I was eleven or twelve years old. I love this club, I love this tournament, and to have the chance to lift the trophy for a second here is really special”, assured “Carlitos” after his semi-final.
“I’m really comfortable here, and I’m playing well. Stefanos had some excellent matches too. Last year, it was a bit of a heated duel, let’s say. I know it’s a great guy off the court, so I’m going to try to forget everything that happened before to focus on my match tomorrow (Sunday, editor’s note) and win, “he added.
– Alcaraz easy, Tsitsipas hooked –
If he was somewhat disturbed by the service and volleys of the Briton (26th in the world) and by his positioning in return of service in the first set, he quickly adapted to dismiss him expeditiously, in an hour and twenty minutes.
The first semi-final was much more addictive: despite the two breaks taken by Musetti (20th in the world) in the first set, Tsitsipas quite easily pocketed the first set by displaying a breathtaking level… then gave up a match point to 5-4 in the second set which revived the Italian.
But the 24-year-old Greek recovered in the third set to win his toughest match of the tournament: after easily beating Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 and Australian Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-2 in the quarters, Tsitsipas conceded his first set of the tournament to a Musetti who forfeited his compatriot Jannik Sinner (ill) in the previous round.
The final will therefore oppose the Spanish winner of the last US Open to the fallen finalist of the last Australian Open, last January.
The two young players will meet again next week at the Masters 1000 in Madrid, where they will once again be the headliners, in the absence of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who are out of injury.
An ideal end of preparation, between Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome (May 10-21), a month before Roland-Garros (May 28-June 11).