MARBELLA, April 4, 2021
Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz has reached the stage of the final four at tour-level for the first time and has become the youngest the ATP Tour semi-finalist since Alexander Zverev at Hamburg 2014.
Under the lights on Estadio Manolo Santana, the 17-year-old showed an impressive performance to win the ‘battle of the young guns’ against 22-year-old Casper Ruud from Norway in his quarterfinal match at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open on Friday.
Alcaraz won 82 per cent of his first-service points, solid shots from the baseline and capitalized on five of his of his eight break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 18 minutes.
What a performance from @alcarazcarlos03! 👏
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 9, 2021
“It was a great match against a tough player. I just tried to play my game, being aggressive all the time. I enjoy playing in Marbella,” Alcaraz said during his post-match on-court interview.
Up next for the wild card entry, who is contesting his sixth ATP Tour main draw at the Costa del Sol, will be fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar. The 23-year-old from Mallorca battled past Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 in the longest match of the day, which lasted almost three hours. Munar reached the final of the ATP Challenger 80 tournament at the Puente Romano Tennis Club last Sunday and carried the momentum into this week.
“I have worked a lot during the last months. I have put a lot of emphasis on it because it had many ups and downs during the last seasons,” said Munar, who reached a career-high ranking of World No. 52 two years ago.
“My tennis is very solid again, although today I have been more nervous than necessary. My performance is even better than when I was among the best in the world. My personal feeling is that I am a more mature tennis player, with more weapons. And I am mentally more stable.”
Carreno Busta remains untroubled
Earlier in the day, top seed Pablo Carreno Busta eased past seventh favourite Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea 6-4, 6-0 to reach his first semi-final on clay court since 2019 in Hamburg. The World No. 15 from Spain struck seven aces and won 83 per cent of his first-service points to advance in 66 minutes.
“I tried to be aggressive on the court today, to dominate the points and I finished the match with a good feeling,” said Carreno Busta.
The 29-year-old Gijon native will next take on No. 4 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The World No. 47 from Spain battled past Norbert Gombos of Slovakia 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4. The encounter lasted two hours and 47 minutes.
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