Carlos Alcaraz fought off a late charge from Roberto Bautista Agut to register his second straight-sets win at the Barcelona Open Tennis 2023 on Thursday. The 19-year-old Spaniard continued his title defense with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Bautista Agut. He will face 10th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in the quarterfinals on Friday.
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“I’m happy to have advanced, it was a complicated match against a tough opponent and with difficult wind conditions. You have to adapt and find solutions in situations like this. It was very difficult to play at my best level today, and I’m sure it was for Roberto as well. All you can do is keep working out there as best as you can.” Alcaraz said.
Alcaraz improved to 9-1 against fellow Spaniards, with the only loss coming to Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells semifinal last year. Alcaraz is attempting to become the first repeat champion at the ATP 500 since the Spanish giant’s reign from 2016 to 2018. He is playing on Nadal Center Court in Barcelona for the Barcelona Open Tennis 2023.
After trailing 2–3 in the first set of Barcelona Open Tennis 2023, Alcaraz responded with six straight games to take control. He hit the match shot to bring up his third and final set point of the first set. Alcaraz slipped in a desperate backhand and floating a slice past a stunned Bautista Agut. Agut thought his overhead had won the point. Despite being broken twice in set two, Alcaraz cruised through the finish line to win the last 11 points at 4–5, 15/15. He won in one hour and 53 minutes after breaking serve five out of ten times. While Bautista Agut came back with three breaks in seven chances to damage.
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Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas also moved a step closer to capturing his first title at an ATP 500 event on Thursday. He defeated 14th seed Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 match at the ongoing Barcelona Open Tennis 2023. The Greek used excellent footwork to command his forehands in a hard-hitting match. On Barcelona clay, the second seed saved both break points and hit groundstrokes with weight.