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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday April 22, 2022

 
Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz stopped Stefanos Tsitsipas' comeback bid to reach the semifinals - and a big milestone - in Barcelona.

Photo Source: Getty

Carlos Alcaraz continues his torrid rise unabated in Barcelona. The Spaniard teen did double duty on Friday, defeating Jaume Munar before notching a dramatic 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 triumph over Stefanos Tsitsipas to book his spot in the last four.

Tennis Express

With his victories Alcaraz, who improves to 21-3 on the young season, assures himself of a Top-10 debut on Monday – the Spaniard will become the ninth youngest ATP player in history to crack the milestone.


The 18-year-old keeps Tsitsipas, last week’s Monte-Carlo champion and the top seed this week in Barcelona, under his thumb in the process. Alcaraz has now won all three matches the pair have played, starting with last year’s thrilling five-set victory in the third round at the US Open, won 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(5). The teenager also knocked Tsitsipas out at Miami a few weeks ago, 7-5, 6-3.

Tsitsipas is familiar with Alcaraz’s bristling game now and before the tournament, when he learned he could potentially face the rising force in the quarterfinals, had nothing but praise for him.

"Carlos is one of the most complicated and complete players I have ever faced," Tsitsipas said. "In fact, I never beat him. I hope to improve on the previous two games if I have to play with him. I think our rivalry will extend over time."

The Greek was not able to change tone of their head-to-head on Friday, but he did manage a swift rally from a double-break down in the middle set, reeling off six of seven games to force a decider.

But Alcaraz showed his maturity by staying the course in the final set. He stormed out to a 4-0 lead, which was aided when Tsitsipas left the court to change his clothes after three games and promptly was docked the first two points of the fourth game.

When the Greek threatened to mount another surge, Alcaraz saved a pair of break points for 5-1 to maintain his double break lead. He served out the match at love two games later to set up a semifinal clash with Australia’s Alex de Minaur.


From 16 to 4 - semis finally set in Barcelona

Thanks to days of rain earlier in the week, all quarterfinalists were forced to play twice on Friday.

Pablo Carreno Busta and Diego Schwartzman came through on the bottom half, with No.8-seeded Carreno Busta saving three match points to topple No.2-seeded Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, while No.6-seeded Schwartzman defeated Lorenzo Musetti and Felix Auger-Aliassime to stay alive.

[10] De Minaur got a gift when Lloyd Harris retired after dropping the first set 6-0 in the pair’s round of 16 match. An energized De Minaur then took out Cameron Norrie 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Norrie, the fourth seed, defeated Marton Fucsovics earlier in the day, 7-5, 6-7(9), 6-4, in three hours and 23 minutes.

He may have lost some of his third set against De Minaur when he failed to get out of the second-set tiebreak against Fucsovics. Such is the lay of the land when Mother Nature wreaks havoc on a draw. The semifinals shape up as follows in Barcelona:

 

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