Iga Swiatek considers it a sad state of affairs to see women's tennis lagging so far behind the men's game when it comes to regular tour prize money.

The WTA Tour's top-ranked player earned $120,150 for winning the title at the Stuttgart Open last week, plus a Porsche sports car, when she beat Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in the final.

Yet for taking the title at the Barcelona Open in the same week, a cheque of €477,795 ($527,000) went to Carlos Alcaraz.

Those tournaments are considered comparable in terms of status and the quality of their fields, yet the difference between the money on offer was striking.

It offered a reminder of the gap between the elite men and women at regular tournaments, despite grand slam events offering equal rewards.

Swiatek and Alcaraz both compete this week at the Madrid Open, where prize money for men and women is equal, the champion of each event collecting €1,105,265 ($1.2m).

Asked about last week's situation, Swiatek said: "Well, it's kind of obvious what my opinion is, because tennis is one of the sports where we speak about equality. I think it's better than most sports anyway.

"But still, there is a lot we can work on in terms of getting equal prize money on some WTA tournaments compared to ATP on the same level.

"Grand slams are already even, as we know. That's nice, but for sure it would be good if WTA would focus on that, but I don't really want to get into that, because it's a lot of business and sometimes politics.

"I don't think I have a lot of influence. I just can say that it would be nice for our sport if it was equal, especially because we kind of do the same work."

The 21-year-old Polish player defended the women's game as she said: "I also get people who are saying that men's tennis is nicer to watch and guys can do more because they are physically and biologically stronger.

"I think there were a lot of people, for example a couple of years ago, who were saying that WTA is not consistent and that's a shame and it should be better, but right now basically I think we are even more consistent than the guys with our game.

"Watching women's tennis gives the same emotions, and sometimes even more emotions, because we are women and we are a little bit more emotional. But, yeah, I think it would be nice if WTA could make it even."

Carlos Alcaraz wishes to build his "own history" rather than "take over" from fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, having won the ninth title of his career at last week's Barcelona Open.

Alcaraz defended his crown in Catalonia by racing to a 6-3 6-4 win against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's final, claiming his third title of the 2023 season. 

Like his legendary compatriot Nadal, Alcaraz won his first grand slam title at the age of 19, triumphing at the US Open last year.

His hopes of adding to that success at the upcoming French Open could be boosted by the misfortune of his rivals, with both Nadal and Novak Djokovic forced to withdraw from this week's Madrid Open as they battle injuries.

While comparisons between Alcaraz and Nadal are perhaps inevitable, the teenager is determined to do things his own way.

"As I've said on more than one occasion, I don't want to take over from anyone," he said after claiming his latest title. 

"I feel lucky to have so many people supporting me, transmitting that positive energy from the first game.

"Speaking of this week, it's been two years that Rafa hasn't been there [in Barcelona]. I've been lucky! But as I've always said, I've always wanted to play against the best.

"It is a pity that we have not been able to enjoy Rafa these last two years. Let's hope he continues playing for a long time and we can enjoy his tennis, but obviously we're not here to take over from anyone, but to build our own history."

With Nadal and Djokovic absent, Alcaraz will be the top seed as he looks to add a 10th career title in Madrid, but he does not see winning in the Spanish capital as the only measure of a successful campaign. 

"Not winning Madrid would not be a failure for me, it depends on the level I have shown and the matches," he said.

"All the players are very good, they can all win the title and they can beat me. For me, failure would depend on the level I show and the way I play."

Carlos Alcaraz eased to another win over Stefanos Tsitsipas to take the Barcelona Open title again on Sunday.

Alcaraz has never lost to Tsitsipas and maintained that record to defend his crown in Catalonia.

A battle between the top seeds briefly threatened to be a closely contested affair, but Alcaraz soon took control, with his 6-3 6-4 win wrapped up in an hour and 20 minutes.

It made for a successful start to the European clay season a month out from the French Open, while Tsitsipas falls to a miserable 0-10 career record in ATP 500 finals.

Tsitsipas broke first, leading 2-1 early in the opener, yet he did not forge another break point across the rest of the match.

Alcaraz was quickly back on terms and dominated his next two service games, creating the opportunity to apply pressure to the Tsitsipas serve.

That paid off with a decisive break, allowing Alcaraz to take his second set point.

A slightly more measured second set followed, but it again went the way of Alcaraz, breaking at the second attempt for a 3-2 lead to which Tsitsipas could not respond.

Carlos Alcaraz raced through to the Barcelona Open final as the defending champion set up a final showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

With his 20th birthday approaching on May 5, world number two Alcaraz will have the chance on Sunday to land his ninth ATP title as a teenager.

Alcaraz crushed the hopes of first-time Barcelona semi-finalist Dan Evans, racing to a 6-2 6-2 victory over a player who was seeking to become the first British finalist at this tournament.

Earlier, Tsitsipas, who had not dropped serve en route to the semi-finals, had to dig deep for a 6-4 5-7 6-3 victory against Lorenzo Musetti, the Italian who beat Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo last week.

Greek star Tsitsipas bizarrely has a 0-9 record in finals at ATP 500 level, the tier at which this tournament sits, despite having won two of his six title matches in elite ATP 1000 events.

Alcaraz will start as a firm favourite in the final. He holds a 3-0 career head-to-head lead over Tsitsipas from their past meetings, including a three-set win in the Barcelona quarter-finals last year.

That was a stormy encounter, with Alcaraz taking exception to almost being hit by a shot from Tsitsipas at the end of the opening set, so the rematch could be one to savour.

"It's so special to play a final here in Barcelona, a tournament I love playing," Alcaraz said on Prime Video. "I came to watch this tournament when I was very, very young, and I played for this club when I was 12, 11. I love this club, I love this tournament, and it's so special to have the chance to lift the trophy here again.

"Last year [against Tsitsipas] we had a spicy match, but I know he's a really nice guy off the court."

At the BMW Open in Munich, it was much the same story on Saturday.

Defending champion Holger Rune, another 19-year-old with a birthday approaching, in his case on April 29, earned another shot at the title.

Rune set up a Sunday showdown against Botic van de Zandschulp, in what will be a repeat of last year's final.

A resilient Rune lived up to his top seeding by ending Christopher O'Connell's fine run, which included a win against Alexander Zverev at the last-16 stage.

The 6-3 6-2 outcome masked the fact Rune saved eight break points as unseeded world number 82 O'Connell threatened to make it a tighter contest on the scoreboard than it turned out to be.

Van de Zandschulp then scored a fine win in the second semi-final as the Dutch fourth seed got the better of American second seed Taylor Fritz, winning 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 

Last year's trophy match ended in disappointment when Van de Zandschulp retired due to chest pains during the first set, with Rune saying it was "probably the worst way to win a final".

Rune has three ATP titles to his name, with 27-year-old Van de Zandschulp yet to lift a singles trophy.

Carlos Alcaraz kept his Barcelona Open title defence on track following a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory over compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarter-finals.

The world number two is aiming to become the first player to successfully defend the Barcelona crown since Rafael Nadal won three in a row between 2016 and 2018.

And though run close by Davidovich Fokina, the reigning champion has now reeled off six sets without reply, taking his overall record at the ATP 500 event to 8-1.

The Spaniard, who is now 9-1 against his fellow countrymen since the start of 2022, will play Dan Evans in the last four. The Briton came from behind to defeat 15th seed Francisco Cerundolo 2-6 7-5 6-3.

They are joined by Stefanos Tsitsipas, whose quest for a first title of the campaign continues after a commanding 6-4 6-2 victory over eighth seed Alex De Minaur.

The second seed, who was runner-up at this event in 2018 and 2021, sealed the deal in one hour and 21 minutes to claim his ninth successive win against the Australian.

His reward is a showdown with Lorenzo Musetti, who received a walkover into the last four following Jannik Sinner's withdrawal.

Over in Munich, reigning champion Holger Rune booked his semi-final place with a dominant 6-2 6-4 win over Cristian Garin.

The world number seven, who is now 7-0 in this event, will play Christopher O'Connell. After defeating Alexander Zverev earlier in the week, the Australian qualifier built on his momentum by seeing off Flavio Cobolli 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3.

Second seed Taylor Fritz also advanced in straight sets with a 6-3 6-4 victory over former world number three Dominic Thiem, who overcame eighth seed Marc-Andrea Huesler earlier in the day.

Fritz's semi-final opponent will be Botic van de Zandschulp after the fourth seed saw off Marcos Giron 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Carlos Alcaraz moved into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open with a straight-sets defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut, but it was a miserable Thursday for Alexander Zverev on home soil.

Defending champion Alcaraz won an all-Spanish contest with Bautista Agut 6-3 7-5 on Pista Rafa Nadal.

Top seed Alcaraz will face another compatriot in the form of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who saw off Emil Ruusuvuori, for a place in the last four in his homeland.

Eyeing a third title of the year, 19-year-old US Open champion Alcaraz was a break down at 3-2 in the opening set before winning six games in a row to take the opener.

Bautista Agut broke the teenager's serve twice midway through the second set, but the favourite reeled off nine points in a row to seal victory in an hour and 54 minutes.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-2, and Jannik Sinner, the fourth seed, battled past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 4-6 6-3, but Casper Ruud was beaten by Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets.

Lorenzo Musetti and Dan Evans advanced at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899 along with Alex de Minaur, who went through with a walkover as Grigor Dimitrov withdrew due to injury.

Meanwhile, there will be no third BMW Open title for Zverev in Munich this week after he suffered a shock loss at the hands of world number 82 Christopher O'Connell.

Australian O'Connell saw off the third seed 7-6 (7-2) 6-4, while defending champion and top seed Holger Rune ousted Yannick Hanfmann 6-3 6-4, and Taylor Fritz got past Marton Fucsovics in three sets.

Lorenzo Sonego was another seed who bowed out, Cristian Garin beating the Italian 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

Stefanos Tsitsipas breezed into the third round of the Barcelona Open with a straight-sets win over Pedro Cachin on Wednesday.   Tsitsipas took 79 minutes to see off Argentine Pedro Cachin 6-4 6-2 on Pista Rafa Nadal.   The second seed from Greece did not face a break point and won all three that he fashioned to set up a meeting with Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who got the better of Jozef Kovalik 6-4, 6-3.   Jannik Sinner, the fourth seed from Italy, eased to a 6-2 6-4 win over Diego Schwartzman at the Real Club de Tennis Barcelona-1899.   Cameron Norrie and Lorenzo Musetti will do battle in round three after defeating Pavel Kotov and Jason Kubler respectively in straight sets.   Karen Khachanov beat Nicolas Jarry 6-4 6-4, while Grigor Dimitrov, Dan Evans, Alex de Minaur, Yoshihito Nishioka and Francisco Cerundolo also celebrated midweek wins.   Rain hit the schedule hard at the BMW Open, where Aslan Karatsev was leading Daniel Altmaie 3-0 in the third set when play was suspended in the only singles action of the day.  

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz cruised into the third round of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3 6-1 straight sets rout of Nuno Borges.

The world number two thrilled his home crowd with a ruthless performance against his Portuguese opponent to reach the last 16, converting five break points along the way.

Alcaraz will be joined in the next round by third seed Casper Ruud, after the Norweigian overcame American Ben Shelton in a 6-2 7-6 (7-1) victory.

Roberto Bautista Agut will not join them, however, after he suffered a 6-2 6-2 loss to Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

At the BMW Open, Dominic Thiem set up a second-round clash with Marc-Andrea Husler after receiving a walkover against Constant Lestienne.

The 2020 US Open winner had been leading 6-3 when the match was abandoned at 0-0 in the second set, as fifth seed Sebastian Baez slipped to a 6-3 7-5 loss against home favourite Oscar Otte in Munich.

Nuno Borges will face reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in the second round of the Barcelona Open after a 6-2 6-3 triumph over Ilya Avashka on Monday.

Borges created a remarkable 20 break points, converting only five but still comfortable against his 61st-ranked opponent.

That sets up a clash with number one seed Alcaraz, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the 2022 final.

Ben Shelton's 7-5 6-4 success over countryman Mackenzie McDonald means he will take on Casper Ruud, while Bernabe Zapata Miralles will play Roberto Bautista Agut in an all-Spanish second-round affair after earning a routine 6-2 6-2 win over unfancied Attila Balazs.

Meanwhile, Emil Ruusuvuori beat Alexander Bublik in Barcelona for a second straight year to set up a second-round meeting with fifth seed Frances Tiafoe.

At the BMW Open in Munich, 2022 winner Holger Rune will open his defence against Yannick Hanfmann after the German battled from a set down to beat Thiago Monteiro 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Marcos Giron reached the second round with a 6-1 5-7 6-2 victory over Roberto Carballes Baene.

Rafael Nadal will not play at next week's Barcelona Open as he waits to return from a hip injury.

The 22-time grand slam winner has not played since going out to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open in January.

Nadal did not feature at tournaments in Indian Wells or Monte Carlo, and his latest withdrawal casts further doubt on his participation at the French Open, which begins at the end of May.

He wrote on Instagram on Friday: "Barcelona is a special tournament for me, because it's my adopted club and because playing at home is always a unique feeling.

"I'm still not prepared and therefore I'm still in my preparation process for the return to competition.

"Good luck to my friend [tournament director] David Ferrer and his whole team for this edition of the Godo that will surely be a success as always on all levels."

Nadal is a 12-time winner of the Barcelona Open, which he last won in 2021.

The 36-year-old recently dropped out of the world's top 10 men's rankings for the first time since 2005 due to his injury absence, and he currently sits in 15th place.

Carlos Alcaraz traced his competitiveness back to his genetics and insisted "fame doesn't scare me" after winning the Barcelona Open.

The title is his third singles crown of the season after also winning in Rio de Janeiro and Miami.

On Sunday, Alcaraz needed just 67 minutes to defeat compatriot Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-3 6-2, giving up no break point opportunities for the entire match.

Speaking with the media after presentations, the 18-year-old said his perseverance was the key after a short turnaround from a tough semi-final against Alex de Minaur.

"I couldn't have finished the tournament in a better way," he said. "I wasn't that tired after the semi-final – I had less recovery time, but I took it as a challenge to come out stronger in the final.

"In the semi-final I always thought it was possible to come back. Thanks to my perseverance I was able to improve and find my level.

"In the end it is about trying – failing and improving – and thanks to this I raised my level in the semi-finals and then in the final. 

"The competitive and winning gene that I have comes from my family. They have always insisted on it and I think that you always have to go for it. I always think of giving everything, and that is what I have done."

After breaking into the world top-10, Alcaraz said there is no ceiling to his talent and the heights he can reach.

"I don't have any limits, I don't want to set any," he said. "I want to continue playing at the level I have, and I think that if I continue like this I have many options to continue climbing.

"I want to continue enjoying myself on the court, I still don't want to touch the ceiling.

"I've always been a normal boy. Fame doesn't scare me, I'm going to continue being the same as always, I'm not going to change the person I am. 

"I'm glad to know that at 18 I'm in the top-10, and to do it on the same date that my idol Rafa did it is impressive."

Carlos Alcaraz delivered a brutal knockout blow as his fourth ATP Tour title came on home clay at the Barcelona Open on Sunday.

After lifting trophies in Umag, Rio de Janeiro and Miami over the last nine months, Alcaraz landed a first in Spain, his homeland, by fighting off compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta.

The 18-year-old scored a 6-3 6-2 victory in the final, having earlier in the day edged out Alex De Minaur 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in a semi-final lasting three hours and 39 minutes.

Alcaraz has been listening to music from the Rocky boxing movies before his matches, notably the classic Eye Of The Tiger from Rocky III.

"I try to listen to that song before every match. It motivates me," he said on Amazon Prime. "When I listen to the music I remember the movie, and it's amazing this big fight that Rocky has and everything that he is trying to have, that experience in every match, and that's what motivates me."

It was already known that Alcaraz would enter the top 10 in the rankings for the first time on Monday, and he is set to go to ninth on that list, with many expecting him to eventually go all the way to the top.

Alcaraz will be the first teenager to enter the top 10 since Andy Murray in 2007, and the youngest since Rafael Nadal moved into the elite pack in April 2005 after winning in Barcelona.

The semi-final involving Alcaraz and De Minaur, and the last-four battle between Carreno Busta and Diego Schwartzman, had both been carried over into finals day, with each match tied at 2-2 in the opening set when rain stopped play on Saturday.

Carreno Busta scored a breezy 6-3 6-4 win over Argentinian Schwartzman and that looked to give the 30-year-old an advantage, but he found the teenage legs of Alcaraz still had plenty of life left in them for the final.

This was the first all-Spanish final in Barcelona since 2013, when Nadal beat Nicolas Almagro, and Alcaraz was clinical.

Carreno Busta drove a backhand wide on set point as Alcaraz took the opener, and the youngster broke for a 4-3 lead in the second set before picking apart Carreno Busta's serve to love to seal victory.

"It means a lot," Alcaraz said. "I've watched this tournament since I was a kid. I've always wanted to play and win this tournament."

Carlos Alcaraz will chase a first home title on Sunday at the Barcelona Open but must do it the hard way after rain held up both semi-finals.

The tussle between Spaniard Alcaraz and Australia's Alex De Minaur was locked at 2-2 in the first set when play was abandoned for the day, and it was the same score in the last-four clash between Argentinian Diego Schwartzman and Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.

Both clay-court semi-finals at the ATP 500 tournament are due to resume at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST) on Sunday, followed by the final not before 16:00 (15:00 BST).

Eighteen-year-old Alcaraz has won ATP titles in Umag, Rio de Janeiro and Miami in the past 12 months but has yet to triumph at an event in Spain, and potentially having to play two matches on the same day complicates his task.

On Monday, the fast-rising youngster will become the first teenager since Andy Murray in 2007 to enter the ATP top 10 rankings.

Carlos Alcaraz produced some supreme tennis as he overcame world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open.

Having already played earlier on Friday, defeating compatriot Jaume Munar 6-3 6-3, 18-year-old Spaniard Alcaraz went the distance against Monte Carlo champion Tsitsipas.

Showing his proficiency on clay, Alcaraz triumphed 6-4 5-7 6-2 to set up a semi-final against Alex de Minaur, who prevailed 6-3 5-7 6-1 over Cameron Norrie.

Alcaraz, the fifth seed, was in excellent form against the top seed and last year's runner-up, and cruised ahead in a dominant first set, striking 14 winners to Tsitsipas' five.

Indeed, Tsitsipas – who had beaten Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets earlier in the day – could not hide his frustration when he smashed the ball hard Alcaraz's way to give up the set, much to the anger of a partisan crowd.

Alcaraz seemed en route to having things wrapped up quickly as he followed up a supreme backhand winner with a sensational drop shot, yet from 4-1 down, Tsitsipas reeled off four straight games to nudge himself ahead, breaking to take the set.

That comeback took just too much out of Tsitsipas, though, with Alcaraz roaring into a 4-0 lead in the decider and, after fending off two breakpoints, sealed his biggest win so far at the first time of asking to reach a fourth semi-final of 2022.

Alcaraz has won all three of his meetings with the Greek and will break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings next week, becoming the youngest player to do so since Spanish great Rafael Nadal in 2005, following his first title in Barcelona.

Indeed, he will be the ninth youngest player overall to make the top 10 and the 20th teenager to do so, though the first since Andy Murray in 2007.

"Probably my biggest win on clay court. It was unbelievable," said Alcaraz. 

"Unbelievable game that I played, unbelievable atmosphere that I lived today on court. It was unbelievable everything. The atmosphere here, the crowd, the level that I played, the level of the match. It was incredible.

"I'm playing an incredible level. And I think that I'm ready to get the title."

Vying for a place in the final in the other semi will be Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno Busta, who both produced remarkable turnarounds in their quarter-final matches.

Schwartzman came back to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 3-6 6-2 6-3, following on from an earlier win over Lorenzo Musetti. 

Carreno Busta, meanwhile, toppled Casper Ruud 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3, though only after saving three match points in the second set in a victory that took three hours.

At the Serbia Open, second seed Andrey Rublev defeated qualifier Taro Daniel 6-3 6-3 to progress to the semi-finals.

In windy conditions in Belgrade, Rublev had little trouble in securing a 74-minute win, teeing up a clash with Fabio Fognini and moving to 21-5 for the season.

Rublev has met the Italian on nine occasions previously, losing five times and winning on four occasions.

"It's going to be tough. Fabi, he's super talented, he can play amazing and it's going to be a tough match with a lot of long rallies, so I just need to do my best and we will see what happens," said Rublev.

Fognini made light work of defeating Oscar Otte 7-5 6-4.

Novak Djokovic again overcame the challenge of a fellow home favourite to advance to the semi-finals at the Serbia Open on Thursday. 

The world number one had battled from a set down against Laslo Djere 24 hours earlier and was once more made to work hard for his win versus Miomir Kecmanovic. 

The seventh seed took the opener without facing a break point and led early in the second set too. 

But Kecmanovic could not hold off Djokovic, who recovered to win 4-6 6-3 6-3 and reach the last four for the fourth time in five campaigns in Belgrade. 

After two victories in two nights against Serbians for the two-time winner, Djokovic is on a 10-0 run in matches with his compatriots and 27-4 all-time. 

The 20-time grand slam champion also has a 36-6 record in Serbia and has particularly enjoyed the "strange" opportunity to face his countrymen in front of a home crowd. 

"It's a very strange feeling, sharing the court with your compatriots," he said. "Obviously the crowd was phenomenal for both players in yesterday's match and today's. 

"They're very rare occasions when I'm able to play at home and experience this atmosphere, so I'm trying to enjoy every single moment." 

Djokovic is the last Serbian remaining in the tournament, though, and takes on third seed Karen Khachanov – a winner against Thiago Monteiro – in the semis. 

There remain two quarter-finals to play on Friday, as Andrey Rublev faces Taro Daniel while Fabio Fognini welcomes the challenge of Oscar Otte. 

Meanwhile, there were only two matches completed at the Barcelona Open due to rain, but Ilya Ivashka ensured fans were rewarded for their patience as he took Stefanos Tsitsipas the distance. 

Ivashka eventually went down 6-1 4-6 6-2 to the top seed in a heavily delayed second-round contest. 

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