Tuesday, May 28

Alcaraz follows Nadal as repeat Barcelona Open champion

BARCELONA, Spain — In management and looking out as dominant as ever, Carlos Alcaraz nodded his head back and forth to the tune of the music being performed on the Rafa Nadal heart court docket.

The 19-year-old Spaniard couldn’t be extra relaxed whereas sitting on the bench throughout a late changeover, watching the house crowd dance and having fun with the second.

Alcaraz obtained up and continued to impress on the court docket, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than he was lifting one more trophy.

Alcaraz grew to become the primary participant since Rafael Nadal to repeat as Barcelona Open champion with a cushty 6-3, 6-4 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday, securing his third title of the 12 months and ninth of his spectacular younger profession.

“Me and my team were talking before the match about staying relaxed,” Alcaraz mentioned. “To want to play the tough moments. Staying relaxed is the most important part for me. To forget the mistakes, everything, and be myself on court. Not to think about all the people watching, but just me, the court, the racket and the final.”

It was the fifth consecutive straight-set win for the second-ranked Alcaraz at his house match this 12 months. He is now 10-1 in Barcelona and has gained his final 14 tour matches on Spanish soil.

PHOTOS: Alcaraz follows Nadal as repeat Barcelona Open champion

“It’s incredible to feel this energy, to lift the trophy here in Barcelona in front of all my people,” mentioned Alcaraz, who used to observe the match within the stands as a child. “My family and my friends are here as well. To lift the trophy here in front of all of them is a great feeling.”

Alcaraz had not efficiently defended a title in his profession earlier than Sunday. Nadal was the final participant to win consecutive titles in Barcelona with three straight from 2016-18. Alcaraz will even attempt to defend his title on the upcoming Madrid Open.

He is now 23-2 for the 12 months. His different titles this season got here at Buenos Aires and Indian Wells.

Alcaraz was taking part in in his fourth last in 5 tournaments this 12 months, successful it with 26 winners and 7 unforced errors.

He and Tsitsipas exchanged breaks early within the first set however Alcaraz ultimately took management to comfortably safe his fourth consecutive win over the fifth-ranked Greek. He had additionally crushed Tsitsipas within the Barcelona quarterfinals final 12 months.

“I had the opportunity to see you a few years ago for the first time, I saw you play a little bit,” Tsitsipas mentioned of Alcaraz. “Some of us guys who were on the tour a little bit earlier than you, I think most of us were fascinated by your tennis … we see you as an example even though we are slightly older than you. We see your achievements as something that will hopefully push us to to do better.”

The 24-year-old Tsitsipas, the Australian Open finalist earlier this 12 months, was making an attempt to win his first title in Barcelona after twice shedding the ultimate to Nadal in 2018 and 2021. He was on the lookout for his first title of the 12 months, and tenth of his profession.

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