Carlos Alcaraz continued his unbelievable run in 2022, taking down Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Madrid Open. The Spaniard lost the first set in a tight tie-break but then clawed his way back into the contest to record a 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) win in a marathon match.
With the teenager having taken down Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, he became the first player to beat the Spaniard and Djokovic in the same clay tournament. He also became the youngest player in the 20-year history of the Madrid Open to reach the final.
The accomplishment prompted fans on social media to throw superlative after superlative at the Spaniard.
"Remember all the s*** y'all gave me for hyping up Alcaraz?! Yeah, the hype is legit. It's not a matter of if but when," one fan tweeted.
"The way Alcaraz out hit Djokovic. The drop shots. The mental resilience. The drop shots. The way he won after losing the first set. The drop shots. The way he had a match point, lost it, and then just held serve in the blink of an eye. The drop shots. The final set tiebreak," another account wrote.
"The question of who will be supplanting the Big 3 is no longer a question. Djokovic and Nadal may still win out in slams, but Carlos Alcaraz will be running the tour in no short time," one account tweeted.
Although Djokovic lost, most tennis fans were of the opinion that he could take a lot of positives from the match. Several Twitter users pointed to the resilience he displayed against a much younger opponent to highlight that he would definitely be back to his usual self at the French Open.
"Very encouraging week for Novak Djokovic. I think he’s improved miles from Monte Carlo and getting closer to his best level. Roland Garros is 3 weeks away and he will be battle tested, ready to defend his title. Still the 2nd favorite for Roland Garros in my view," one fan wrote.
"This match for Djokovic win or lose was a massive step in the right direction to getting back to his best! I knew Carlos Alcaraz would push Djokovic which is exactly what he needs. Even though Novak lost the match he's gained an enormous amount of match practice in preparation for Roland Garros!" another user posted.
Carlos Alcaraz to take on Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev in the final of the 2022 Madrid Open
Following his victory over Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz will take on either Stefanos Tsitsipas or defending champion Alexander Zverev in the final of the 2022 Madrid Masters. The German has lost only one set in the tournament so far, and disposed of Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals with relative ease.
Tsitsipas has also lost just one set in Madrid this week and prevailed over Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. No matter what happens in the final, Alcaraz is guaranteed to become the World No. 6 next week.