ATP

Alcaraz beats Berrettini on way to Rio Open decider against Schwartzman

By Sports Desk February 20, 2022

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in the Rio Open final after knocking off top seed Matteo Berrettini followed by countryman Fabio Fognini on Saturday.

Several quarter-finals were squeezed into Saturday's schedule alongside evening semi-finals following Friday's ranout, forcing Alcaraz to play twice along with Diego Schwartzman who also progressed to Sunday's decider.

Alcaraz first defeated top seed and 2021 Wimbledon finalist Berrettini in three sets, triumphing 6-2 2-6 6-2 in two hours and two minutes.

The 18-year-old Spanish seventh seed, who reached last year's US Open quarter-finals, backed that up with a straight-sets win over Fognini, 6-2 7-5.

"It means a lot to me," Alcaraz said post-match. "I surprised myself to be able to win two matches in a row in the same day. It's tough to win one match, two is even tougher."

Third seed Schwartzman got past fellow Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in a two-hour-and-two-minute semi-final, having won through earlier in the day 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 against Pablo Andujar.

The top two seeds will meet in the Delray Beach Open final in Florida after wins by Cameron Norrie and Reilly Opelka on Saturday.

First seed Norrie got past American fourth seed Tommy Paul 6-3 6-3 in one hour and 16 minutes. Norrie had endured a slow start to the calendar year, but will now play for a third ATP Tour title.

Second seed Opelka had a tougher outing, needing three hours to overcome John Millman 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4). In a match which only saw two breaks of serve,

Opelka, who won last week's Dallas Open title, sent down 16 aces and won 82 per cent of his first serve.

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