Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz admitted that winning the Barcelona Open was special as it was a tournament he watched as a child and dreamed of winning one day. Alcaraz, 18, had to work very hard to get the Barcelona title, as he needed to win two games on Sunday to get it all in front of his fans.
Alcaraz started his Barcelona semi-final match against Alex De Minaur on Saturday, but the two only played a few games before the match was rained out. Alcaraz and De Minaur continued their match at 11am on Sunday and Alcaraz won an outright duel by beating De Minaur 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4.
De Minaur was 7-6(4), 6-5, 40-15, but could not serve for the match as Alcaraz broke through and claimed an impressive victory. A few hours later, Alcaraz returned to the court and dominated his compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3, 6-2 to win in Barcelona.
“It means a lot. I’ve watched this tournament since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to play in this tournament and of course to be able to win this tournament,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “I am very, very happy to be part of the [historic] list of Spaniards.”
Alcaraz claimed the first break of the match in game five to take a 3-2 lead in the first set. Alcaraz squandered five break points in game seven, but earned the second break from him in game nine, when Carreno Busta served to stay in the match.
Rafael Nadal won the Melbourne Summer Set before clinching his 21st Major at the Australian Open in spectacular fashion. He then went on to lift the Mexican Open trophy.
Boris Becker on Rafa Nadal
Boris Becker believes Rafael Nadal looked “invincible” at the start of the season and that his rib injury came at the worst possible time.
“Nadal was actually considered invincible until he injured himself in the semi-final against Alcaraz, who played for over three hours,” Becker said. The German believes Nadal’s ribs have an underlying issue, claiming that he himself suffered a similar problem during his playing days.
“Something must be wrong with his rib,” Becker said. “I had that once too. It hurts a lot and it takes a long time until you can play properly again because you need it to breathe. And especially now for the clay court season, this is of course a big setback for him.”