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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday April 9, 2021

We’ve known about rising phenom Carlos Alcaraz for a while, but we’ve never seen him like this. The 17-year-old Spaniard was in the rudest of forms on Friday at the Andalucia Open as he swiftly knocked back one of the premier clay-courters in men’s tennis to reach his first career semifinal.

Tennis Express

Alcaraz, playing in just his 12th ATP match, trounced Norway’s Casper Ruud, the World No.26, 6-2, 6-4, to become the youngest ATP semifinalist since Alexander Zverev in 2014.

“I try to not think about that,” Alcaraz said of his achievement. “Try to play my game try to be focused all the time - just try to play my game all the time during the match.”

It was a dominant, high-energy performance from a young man that is demonstrating this week on the clay that he already possesses the physical tools to stand toe-to-toe with some of the best clay-courters in the sport.

Alcaraz backed his serve with bristling ground strokes and didn’t hesitate for a moment over the course of the 79-minute encounter. He won 82 percent of his first serve points and broke serve five times on eight opportunities as he managed to stay in front of Ruud for most of the contest.

Ruud, ranked 26, entered the match with an 8-2 record in clay court quarterfinals.

“It has been a great match against a great player,” Alcaraz said on court after the match. “Casper Ruud obviously is a really good tennis player, so I had to play a good game. Try to be aggressive all the time, so I feel really comfortable here in Marbella on court."

The Spaniard will face Jaume Munar in Saturday’s semifinals at Marbella.

World No.95 Munar edged Ilya Ivasha of Belarus 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first ATP semifinal since 2018.

Rounding out the all-Spanish semifinals are Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated Soonwoo Kwon 6-4, 6-0, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who slid past Norbert Gombos, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4.


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