Carlos Alcaraz declared he would be going to the French Open with the title in his sights after the teenage sensation stormed to Madrid Open glory.

The 19-year-old swatted aside a weary Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-1 in an hour and two minutes in Sunday's final.

That followed hard-fought three-set wins for Alcaraz over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, two of the pillars of men's tennis this century, and it points to a glorious future.

If the present moment seems good, then thoughts are already turning to what remarkable feats Alcaraz might achieve across his career.

He is widely considered a multiple slam winner in waiting, but must first knock off that first major.

The Spanish teenager has won a tour-leading four titles already in 2022, and he said on Tennis TV: "Yes, I think I'm ready to win a grand slam. I think I'm ready to go for it.

"This is a goal for me this year, try to get my first grand slam. I'm going to work for it and let's see what is going to happen at Roland Garros."

The French Open begins on May 22, and Alcaraz will skip the Internazionali d'Italia to ensure he is rested and focused on the tournament in Paris.

He reached the third round last year, but the Alcaraz of 12 months ago was not the winning machine he has become, a powerful striker of the ball who should fear nobody on the French clay.

Alcaraz has become the second-youngest player to win two Masters 1000 titles, after the 18-year-old Nadal in 2005, having added Madrid to his Miami triumph, and is the youngest, also since Nadal, to scoop five ATP Tour titles.

Alcaraz has a perfect record in title matches, becoming the sixth man in the Open Era to win his first five finals at tour level, and he has strung together seven consecutive wins against opponents ranked inside the top 10.

On Monday, he will jump three places to sixth in the ATP rankings, a new career high. Yet the teenager says there is plenty of scope for growing his game, as the likes of the 'Big Three' have shown.

"I think that I have to improve everything still," he said. "I have always said that you can improve everything. You never reach a limit.

"Look at Rafa, Djokovic, [Roger] Federer, all of them improve and they have things to improve. They keep on working and improving.

“That's what I want to do. I want to keep on progressing."

He added, quoted on the ATP official website: "I have really good shots. I don't say that I don't have them, but I know that I can improve them and they can be even better.”

In Madrid, Alcaraz became the youngest player to beat three top-five stars at the same tournament since the ATP Tour launched in 1990, by taking out top-ranked Djokovic, world number three Zverev and Nadal, who sits fourth in the rankings.

He leads the way for wins in the 2022 season as his 10th straight triumph takes him to 28 match victories for the campaign, one more than Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Ons Jabeur became the first player representing an African nation to reach the final of a WTA 1000 tournament as she set up a clash with Jessica Pegula at the Madrid Open.

Tunisian Jabeur, who beat Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic and two-time grand slam winner Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals, needed just an hour and one minute to secure a routine last-four win over Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The world number 10 dominated her Russian opponent in a 6-2 6-3 win, before setting her sights on victory in what will be her sixth career final on the WTA Tour but first at such a high tier.

"I'm going to put a positive here. I want to win this final," Jabeur said after her win. "I'm going to put my heart, my favourite drop shot, my forehand in.

"I'm just going to really give my best. I don't want to regret [anything]. The main important thing for me, I know it's winning the title, but [also] knowing that I gave it all during the match and not regretting that. I know if this one [title] is not coming, then there is another one.

"I keep pushing myself to do better. The proof is that from Charleston [where Jabeur lost the final to Bencic last month], I worked really hard to be in the finals here. Like I said, I'm going to leave my heart on the court on Saturday."

Jabeur will face American Pegula in Saturday's final after she registered a 6-3 6-4 triumph over Switzerland's Jil Teichmann.

The 12th seed was tested when Teichmann fought back from a break down to 4-4 in the second set, with 28-year-old Pegula managing to dig deep to break once more and reach what is also her first WTA 1000 final.

Saturday's contest will represent just the fourth final of Pegula's career, and the first since losing to compatriot Serena Williams in straight sets at the 2020 Auckland Open, but she will enter the top 10 of the WTA rankings with a win.

"I knew I was close to the top 10, but it's so hard, you have to step up and do really well to win a tournament," Pegula said on court.

"I'm just so happy to be in the final, it's my first final in a 1000. I've been knocking on the door in the last few tournaments, [but] I was able to take care of business today."

Jabeur and Pegula have met on four previous occasions with each player boasting two victories each, Jabeur winning their last meeting at the last-16 stage of this year's Dubai Tennis Championships.

Ons Jabeur produced a fine display as she made light work for Simona Halep to secure her place in the Madrid Open semi-finals.

Former world number one Halep was the only player to have won the competition to have reached the last eight, but she was no match for the Tunisian, who won 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour.

After a difficult start to the year, Jabeur has hit her stride in recent times and will be contesting a second semi-final in three tournaments.

While Jabeur caught the eye, particularly with her penchant for a dropshot, Halep proved to be her own worst enemy, recording 12 more unforced errors (20) than winners (eight).

Up next for Jabeur is qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat 2019 French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova 6-4 6-3 to reach her first WTA 1000 last-four clash.

Alexandrova has won six of her previous seven meetings with Jabeur.

Meanwhile, Anhelina Kalinina saw her impressive run ended by Jil Teichmann. The Ukrainian had seen off three major winners on the bounce in Sloane Stephens, Garbine Muguruza and Emma Raducanu, but she was beaten in straight sets this time.

Teichmann – who won 6-3 6-4 – will face Jessica Pegula for a place in the final, with the American eliminating Spain's final hope of a home winner in Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-4 6-2.

Novak Djokovic set up a last-16 clash with Andy Murray at the Madrid Open, impressing in a straight-sets victory over Gael Monfils while Murray overcame Denis Shapovalov.

The 20-time grand slam champion eased to a 6-3 6-2 win in the Spanish capital, assuring him of a record-extending 369th week at the top of the ATP world rankings and teeing up a mouth-watering contest with one of his greatest rivals.

The Serb hailed his victory as representing his best performance of 2022, saying he was pleased with his progress after falling to a final defeat against Andrey Rublev on home soil in last month's Belgrade Open.

"[It was] probably the best match of the year so far for me," Djokovic told Tennis TV after the win. "I haven't played many matches and am still finding my groove.

"But [it's] a very good win against a very tricky opponent. I had a week, 10 days to get ready for this match, and for this tournament I have done everything I possibly can to build my fitness and also improve on all aspects of the game, on the court. 

"I'm really glad that it paid off, because I felt good on the court. It's the right process, and it's the right direction."

Djokovic will face Murray for the 37th time, and the first time since 2017's Qatar Open, after the three-time grand slam winner rolled back the years to overcome Shapovalov 6-1 3-6 6-2 in an absorbing two-hour contest later on Tuesday.

The duo are one of only two male pairs to have met in each of the four grand slam finals (along with Djokovic and Rafael Nadal), while Djokovic holds a 25-11 lead across their previous meetings and has won both of their two encounters at the Madrid Open, one of which was their first-ever meeting in 2006.

Elsewhere in the draw, it was a day of few shocks in Spain as seeds Rublev and Carlos Alcaraz ensured their own progress to the last 16.

Rublev recovered from a poor first-set showing to down Great Britain's Jack Draper 2-6 6-4 7-5, while home favourite Alcaraz remained on course for a potential meeting with compatriot Nadal after earning a 6-3 7-5 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Finally, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a competitive first-round affair to set up Wednesday's enticing last-32 clash with world number three Alexander Zverev.

Emma Raducanu became the third successive major winner to lose to Anhelina Kalinina as the Ukrainian reached her maiden WTA 1000 quarter-final at the Madrid Open.

Ninth-seed Raducanu was the biggest name in action on Tuesday and had been hoping to rack up three successive WTA Tour victories for the first time since her incredible US Open success in September last year.

But Kalinina, who saw off Sloane Stephens and Garbine Muguruza in her two previous matches, got the better of the Brit in an entertaining 6-2 2-6 6-4 win.

Raducanu had not dropped a set in either of her first two outings in Madrid but Kalinina quickly put an end to that.

While the teenager responded well in the second, getting an important break to make it 3-1, Kalinina rallied again in what was a closer deciding set.

The pair traded breaks and then Kalinina got another to set her en route to victory at 5-4 – she had to save one more break point but did ultimately see off Raducanu to book a clash with Jil Teichmann in the last eight.

Teichmann beat Elena Rybakina earlier in the day, dispatching the 16th seed in impressively comfortable fashion as she won 6-3 6-1.

Progression from the last eight for Teichmann will see her reach the semi-final of a WTA 1000 event for the first time.

Sara Sorribes Tormo, the last Spaniard left in the draw, defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-4 1-6 6-3 in something of a rollercoaster ride to line up a quarter-final contest with 12th seed Jessica Pegula.

The American kept her focus despite opponent Bianca Andreescu needing a medical timeout and rain causing a 30-minute halt, eventually winning 7-5 6-1.

Rafael Nadal requested that his opening match at the Madrid Open does not clash with his beloved Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final against Manchester City, according to tournament director Feliciano Lopez.

Nadal, who has won the Madrid Open on five occasions, will face Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic in the round of 32 on Wednesday, the same day Los Blancos bid to overturn a 4-3 first-leg deficit against Pep Guardiola's team at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 21-time grand slam winner is known to be an avid supporter of Madrid and was invited to take an "honorary kick-off" before Carlo Ancelotti's team wrapped up their 35th league title with a 4-0 win over Espanyol at the weekend.

Lopez confirmed Nadal's request to Spanish radio network Cadena SER on Tuesday.

"Nadal asked us that when Madrid played the Champions League semi-finals that we not play him," Lopez said.

"He likes to play during the day, so that the ball bounces higher. There are [Spanish] tennis players who are not from Madrid. David Ferrer is not from Madrid. Tommy Robredo and Marc Lopez are from Barcelona, Sergi Bruguera is very much from Barcelona… it's very hard to be an anti-Madridista!"

Real Madrid have been eliminated from each of their previous five Champions League semi-finals when losing the first leg – however, Los Blancos have progressed from two of their last three knockout ties when losing the opening match (the 2015-16 quarter-final against Wolfsburg and this season's last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain).

Madrid have won the European Cup/Champions League on a record 13 occasions, also finishing as runners-up three times, and Nadal will hope to have a good view if Los Blancos seal a 17th final appearance on Wednesday.

 

Ons Jabuer avenged her recent loss to Belinda Bencic with a win at the Madrid Open, while Coco Gauff is out after being beaten in straight sets in the round of 16 by Simona Halep on Monday.

Gauff joins other big names in exiting the WTA 1000 event, with Naomi Osaka, Garbine Muguruza, Danielle Collins, Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari among those crashing out in the second round.

The number 14 seed did not put up much resistance against her Romanian opponent, with Halep winning 6-4 6-4 in just 77 minutes.

Gauff struggled on her own serve in particular, making six double faults and only winning 61.5 per cent of her first-serve points, compared to 83.8 from Halep on hers.

The former world number one and two-time Madrid champion will now face the only remaining top-eight seed in the tournament in the quarter-final, Jabeur, who defeated Bencic 6-2 3-6 6-2.

The Tunisian was out for revenge after losing to Bencic at the same stage last year, as well as in the Charleston Open final last month, and took it well as she sealed victory in just over two hours.

"I came here to take my revenge," Jabeur said after the win. "I wish I played like that in the final in Charleston, to be honest.

"Part of me is very proud of myself for coming today and getting the win. Belinda is such an amazing player and it's very tough to play against her. I'm very happy with the level I showed today, and hopefully this level will continue for the rest of the tournament."

Elsewhere, Victoria Azarenka is out after the number 15 seed was beaten 6-1 6-4 by Amanda Anisimova, who will now face Ekaterina Alexandrova in the last eight after she overcame Marie Bouzkova 6-7 (4-7) 6-0 7-5.

Naomi Osaka joined several other big names in falling to a second-round exit at the Madrid Open, although Emma Raducanu cruised to a routine straight-sets win over Marta Kostyuk.

Four-time grand slam winner Osaka crashed to a resounding 6-3 6-1 loss to Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, exiting her first tournament on clay since the 2021 French Open, where she withdrew citing mental health issues.

Osaka, who had posted an underwhelming 20-15 record on the surface prior to this week, looked uncomfortable throughout and appeared to struggle with a leg injury during a disappointing second set display.

The 24-year-old was not the only high profile player to be on the receiving end of a shock during a day of drama in the Spanish capital, as several of the competition's seeds failed to secure places in the last 16.

Another home favourite, Garbine Muguruza, fell to a resounding loss of her own as Anhelina Kalinina raced to a 6-3 6-0 victory over the seventh seed, while sixth seed Danielle Collins was thrashed 6-1 6-1 by Canadian Bianca Andreescu.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was the highest-ranked player in action, and although the world number five won the first set of her clash with Daria Kasatkina, the Greek eventually fell to a 3-6 6-3 6-1 loss, while 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez went down 6-4 6-4 to Jil Teichmann.

One big name who did make comfortable progress, however, was Fernandez's US Open conqueror Raducanu, who eased to a 6-2 6-1 win over Kostyuk to set up a last-16 encounter with another Ukrainian in Kalinina. 

The 19-year-old, who has been quoted as saying she believes clay could prove to be her best surface in the future, was delighted with her victory and enjoying the tournament after dropping just one game in the second set.

"I'm definitely happy with my performance," Raducanu said on court. "Marta's a great opponent - I knew it was going to be a really tough battle. I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it paid off.

"It's my first clay court season and I'm really enjoying it. Madrid is such a cool city and it's got such a great vibe about it. I definitely want to try and stay here for as long as possible."

Emma Raducanu has parted company with another coach as the US Open champion seeks the right combination to keep her at the top of the game.

The world number 11, who was a shock winner at Flushing Meadows last September, announced on Tuesday she and Torben Beltz would no longer be working together.

German coach Beltz came on board in November but departs as Raducanu plots the way forward ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon.  The 19-year-old Raducanu says she needs "a new training model".

Beltz becomes the third coach to move on from working with Raducanu in the last 12 months. She swapped Nigel Sears for Andrew Richardson, who was in her corner at the US Open, before electing to bring on board the experienced Beltz, who previously worked with Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic.

Raducanu said of her decision: "I want to thank Torben for his dedication. He has a huge heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time together."

She is preparing to play at the Madrid Open and will be assisted there by Iain Bates, the long-serving head of women's tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Raducanu has yet to indicate what direction she will go in regarding her next full-time hire, although working with the teenager is likely to remain an attractive prospect for leading coaches.

She said: "The best direction for my development is to transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim."

Although Raducanu has continued to climb the WTA rankings, she has managed just five wins from 12 matches on tour this year, losing a close contest to world number one Iga Swiatek in the Stuttgart quarter-finals last week.

Aryna Sabalenka won the Madrid Open after a 6-0 3-6 6-4 victory over world number one Ashleigh Barty on Saturday.

Sabalenka wrapped up the first set to love in just 25 minutes as an unusually sluggish Barty struggled to find any kind of rhythm to her game.

Barty, who had won 16 consecutive matches on red clay, rallied in the second set to get herself back on level terms.

At 4-4 in the deciding set Sabalenka broke Barty and then held her nerve on serve to secure her 10th WTA Tour career title which will see her climb up to fourth from seventh in the world rankings on Monday.

Barty was on a streak of nine consecutive WTA Tour titles and had not lost to an opponent in the top 10 since the WTA Finals in 2019.

But in-form Sabalenka had not dropped a single set in Madrid in the lead-up to the final and began in imperious fashion.

The 23-year-old from Belarus produced a clinical first set, dropping just four points, as Barty failed to win a single game in the set to record a bagel for the first time in four years.

The pair exchanged breaks in the second set before Australian Barty, 25, finally discovered some momentum to break her opponent again to seal the set.

Sabalenka squandered a one-set lead to lose to Barty in the Stuttgart Open final two weeks ago.

And Barty, also playing in the final of the tournament for the first time, had threatened to break her opponent at 4-3 in the decider.

But this time Sabalenka took her chance when Barty fluffed a drop shot and then double faulted to give her three break points, converting at the first time of asking with a powerful backhand.

Sabalenka then clinically sealed victory with a flawless service game to love, clinching victory when Barty smashed a forehand into the net.

"To be honest, after the final in Stuttgart I was injured, I couldn't move and wanted to withdraw," Sabalenka said in an on-court interview after the win.

"But the recovery was good, in four days I feel better and now I'm the champion. It's been an amazing week."

Aryna Sabalenka will have a shot at redemption when she faces top seed Ash Barty in the Madrid Open final after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets on Thursday.

World number seven Sabalenka squandered a one-set lead to lose to Barty in the Stuttgart Open final two weeks ago.

But she will have another crack at winning silverware in the Spanish capital in Saturday's final against Barty, who saw off Paula Badosa in straight sets in the other last-four match.

"I'm looking forward to the final," she said in her on-court interview. "First of all I will have a good rest and do everything I can to prepare myself as good as I can. 

"It'll be really interesting to play another final against Ash. I think it'll be a great battle. I think everyone coming here can see themselves winning the tournament. I'll do my best."

Sabalenka had not dropped a single set in Madrid in the lead-up to the semi-final and that remains the case after cruising past Pavlyuchenkova in a little over an hour.

The fifth seed converted four of her five break points and won 73 per cent of her second-service points.

Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 41st in the world, lost serve in the fourth and eighth games of the opening set and failed to hold on her first two service games in the second set.

Despite breaking Sabalenka in the seventh game, the Belarussian proved far too strong for her opponent and got over the line with a fourth ace of the match to reach her third final of the season.

Ash Barty saw off Paula Badosa in straight sets to reach the final of the Madrid Open, extending her unbeaten streak on clay to 16 matches.

The world number one triumphed 6-4 6-3 on Thursday, taking her record for 2021 to an impressive 25-3.

Badosa is the only player to have beaten Barty since February, but the Spaniard was unable to pull off a repeat of her upset in their quarter-final clash in Charleston last month.

The world number 62 had become the first Spanish player to reach the semi-finals in Madrid and there was little to split the pair through the opening nine games.

However, when serving at 5-4 down to stay in the set, Badosa suddenly came under pressure.

The wildcard saved two set points but gifted her opponent a 1-0 lead with a double fault. A similar situation early in the second put Barty 3-1 up, though she had to save three break points in her next service game.

After escaping trouble on that occasion, the Australian had no further issues on her way to completing the win after one hour and 15 minutes on court.

Standing in her way of a fourth title this season will be either Aryna Sabalenka or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; they will meet in the second semi-final in the evening session in the Spanish capital.

The in-form Barty has already been crowned champion at the Yarra Valley Classic this year, as well as events in Miami and Stuttgart.

Jil Teichmann saved six match points in a stunning defeat of Elina Svitolina before Ash Barty breezed into the second round of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

Teichmann produced an astonishing fightback to beat fourth seed Svitolina 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) at the Caja Magica.

Unseeded Swiss Teichmann came from a set and a break down to claim the scalp of the world number five, who squandered a commanding 5-1 lead in the final set.

Svitolina saw six match points come and go in an incredible deciding set, opportunities she was left to rue when the 40-ranked Teichmann won a tie-break to end a contest that took two hours and 33 minutes to settle.

World number one Barty extended her winning run on clay to 12 matches with a 6-2 6-1 success over Shelby Rogers.

Barty claimed her third title of the year in Stuttgart last weekend and the Australian needed just an hour to send Rogers packing, losing just two points on her first serve and not facing a single break point.

French Open champion Iga Swiatek was also an emphatic winner, easing past another American in the form of Alison Riske 6-1 6-1.

Swiatek, making her debut in this tournament, has won 16 consecutive matches on clay after blowing Riske away.

Defending champion Kiki Bertens beat 15-year-old Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-4 6-0, while Petra Kvitova progressed when opponent Marie Bouzkova retired due to hand injury after the Czech won the first set.

Garbine Muguruza was forced to withdraw ahead of her meeting with Sloane Stephens due to a leg injury. Belinda Bencic, Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta were among the other winners in the Spanish capital.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic has revealed he will not play in the Madrid Open next week.

The world number one on Wednesday announced he will not take his place in the draw at the Caja Magica, where he won the title for a third time two years ago by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Djokovic suffered a shock defeat to Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open on home soil last week and the 18-time grand slam champion will not be adding to his list of honours in Madrid.

He stated: "Sorry that I won’t be able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans.

"It's been two years already, quite a long time. Hope to see you all next year!"

Djokovic has won 12 times and been beaten twice this season, claiming a ninth Australian Open crown in February.

The Madrid Open was not staged last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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