Alcaraz saves two match points to reach Barcelona final

·2-min read
Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz saved two match points to reach the final of the Barcelona Open (AFP/Josep LAGO) (Josep LAGO)

Carlos Alcaraz saved two match points in the second set to battle past Australian Alex De Minaur on Sunday to set up an all-Spanish final in the Barcelona Open against Pablo Carreno Busta later in the day.

Alcaraz, the fifth seed, won through 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 with Carreno Busta earlier sweeping past Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals which had been pushed back from Saturday because of rain in the Catalan capital.

"I was lucky," said Alcaraz as he described the dazzling run around forehand which saved one of the match points.

"I did that passing shot, I don't know how I did it, it was pretty close, but I was fighting until the last ball.

"I had my chances. I did it at the end of the second set, breaking his serve twice. It was an unbelievable match, very close, but I was fighting."

Alcaraz, 18, had beaten top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a three-set rollercoaster to reach the Barcelona semi-finals on Friday and become the youngest player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to make the world top 10.

On Sunday, the Miami Open champion needed 3hr 40min to get past 23-year-old de Minaur.

Carreno Busta, 30, spent just 1hr 40min on the clay court.

After repeated interruptions, both matches were level at 2-2 in the opening set on Saturday, when play for the day was cancelled.

The final will be played at 1400 GMT on Sunday. It will be the first meeting between the two Spaniards.

"It's tough to play a final this afternoon after this match, after this whole week, but it's a final," said Alcaraz.

"You have to give 100 per cent, you have to fight until the last ball. It's no time to be tired now, so you have to fight like the first day."

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