Defending champion and top seed Carlos Alcaraz ensured he celebrated his 20th birthday on court on Friday by advancing to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open 2023 tennis tournament.
Also Read: Novak Djokovic will be able to compete at the US Open 2023
The Spaniard had to struggle against Karen Khachanov on Wednesday. But in the end, he was able to beat the Russian 6-4, 7-5. Earlier, Alcaraz blew away Alexander Zverev on Tuesday in a repeat of last year’s Madrid final. But Khachanov put up stiffer opposition. He will face Borna Coric in the Madrid Open 2023 semi-finals. Seventeenth seed Coric beat Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. If Alcaraz lifts the Madrid Open 2023 trophy on Sunday in the Spanish capital, he will knock Novak Djokovic from top spot in the rankings simply by playing a match at the Italian Open in Rome next week.
Alcaraz found a decisive break to take a 4-3 lead with a strong forehand which Khachanov could not return successfully. The Spaniard consolidated and served it out. In the second set, Khachanov broke for a 3-1 lead when Alcaraz went long after saving a first break point. The world number 12 forced two more in the sixth game. But he could not convert either as Alcaraz fought hard to hold. Alcaraz’s perseverence paid off as he broke with a volley to get back on serve at 4-5. The US Open champion consolidated his break and then earned another when Khachanov hit the net with an attempted forehand winner. Aiming for his 10th tour level title the crowd-pleasing home favourite sealed his progress with a powerful forehand drive.
Also Read: Sumit Nagal becomes the first Indian to win an ATP Challengers singles in Europe
Meanwhile, in the women’s section, top seed Iga Świątek registered a comfortable 6-0, 6-3 win over Petra Martić at the Madrid Open 2023. Swiatek will next face Veronika Kudermetova. Veronika reached the semifinals of a WTA 1000 event for the first time after a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 victory over third seed Jessica Pegula. In the other women’s semi-final, second seed Aryna Sabalenka will face ninth seed Maria Sakkari.