Carlos Alcaraz secured his fifth ATP Tour title and second Masters 1000 crown by cruising past defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-1 at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz became the first player to ever defeat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in consecutive matches en route to the final in the Spanish capital, while Zverev edged out Stefanos Tsitsipas to make the showpiece.

Zverev, a two-time winner in Madrid in 2018 and 2021, boasted a 2-0 head-to-head record over Alcaraz on the ATP Tour heading into the clash on Sunday, but it was the 19-year-old who seized the early initiative.

Alcaraz struck first with a break to go 4-2 up after a dipping backhand evaded the reach of Zverev, who could not muster a response as the Spaniard served out a dominant first set.

The teenager continued in commanding fashion in the second set, delivering a deft drop shot to break Zverev, who missed two straightforward volleys and produced a double fault to fall 4-1 down.

World number three Zverev managed to save three match points, but a double fault then handed Alcaraz victory in just 62 minutes, becoming the youngest five-time tour winner since Nadal won seven titles by the same age in 2004-05.

Alcaraz leads the way for wins in the 2022 season as his 10th straight triumph – and seventh consecutive victory over top-10 ranked players – takes him to 28 for the campaign, one more than Tsitsipas.

Alcaraz is also the second-youngest player to win two ATP Masters 1000 titles, after triumphing in Miami in March, and will rise to second in the Race to Turin as he seeks his debut at the prestigious end-of-season event in November.

Aslan Karatsev staved off a match point to earn a meeting with Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Internazionali d'Italia. 

After coming from a set down to force a decider against Lloyd Harris in his opening match in Rome, Karatsev held serve when facing match point in a back-and-forth tie-break. 

The Russian had already missed a chance to break for the match but did not fail at the second attempt, completing a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7) win to book a date with world number one Djokovic.

Djokovic will be eager to get back on track after suffering a defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

Filip Krajinovic's reward for a 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) victory over Frances Tiafoe is a showdown with Andrey Rublev, while Cristian Garin will take on the in-form Alcaraz following a 6-3 6-2 success over wildcard Francesco Passaro. 

Marin Cilic was the other main-draw winner on Sunday, cruising past Matteo Arnaldi 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes. 

Alexander Zverev avenged his Monte Carlo semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, booking his place at the Madrid Open final with a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win on Saturday.

Zverev was dominant on serve, giving up only two break points for the match with a 73 per cent first-serve rate, while winning 40 of a total 48 points on his first serve.

The German will now aim to defend his title in Sunday's final when he faces Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated world number one Novak Djokovic earlier on Saturday.

The second seed will be seeking his sixth ATP 1000 title, with Sunday's final against the home favourite to be his 10th at that level.

"I'm just extremely happy to be in the final here," Zverev said post-match. "I know it's going to be an extremely tough match tomorrow but I hope I can manage to play my best and give myself a chance.

"It's going to be his [Alcaraz] court for the next 15 years probably. It has been Rafa's [Nadal] court for the past 15 years and it's going to be his court for the next 15 years.

"I just hope I can give him some trouble and I hope I can manage to win tomorrow."

Tsitsipas was similarly strong on his first serve but had a much lower rate at only 56 per cent for the match. Zverev simply had more looks at his opponent's second serve, winning 15 points compared to Tsitsipas' eight, but with each holding a 44 per cent success rate.

The defending champion at Caja Magica capitalised when it mattered, though, claiming the opening three games in the deciding set to set up the eventual win.

Ons Jabeur became the first player representing an African country to land a WTA 1000 title as she fended off Jessica Pegula in the Madrid Open final.

The Tunisian beat her American opponent 7-5 0-6 6-2, regrouping well after a major dip in the second set to scoop the biggest title of her career.

The history-making victory means Jabeur will jump from 10th to seventh in the WTA rankings on Monday, matching a career high, and she earns €1,041,570 in prize money.

After losing to Belinda Bencic in the Charleston Open final last month, Jabeur's run on the Spanish clay shows she is becoming increasingly resilient, and comes as a timely boost ahead of the French Open getting under way in two weeks' time.

"We've lost a lot of finals, but today I'm happy I pulled out the win," Jabeur said at the end of the match, addressing her support team.

"It was very tough, especially last time in Charleston, so thank you guys for always believing in me and pushing me forward."

Jabeur came from 4-1 behind to take the opener, and she now holds a 17-0 match record when winning first sets this year.

Pegula broke in the fourth game, having fended off three break points in the opening game of the contest. Jabeur hit back and soon had the match back on serve, before saving a set point with a thumping backhand.

The 28-year-old Pegula, daughter of Buffalo Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, has carved out a successful career at the top level in tennis, reaching back-to-back Australian Open quarter-finals this season and last.

She was in trouble when she lost her serve in the 11th game though, and Jabeur capitalised to snatch the opener.

Pegula made a flying start to the second set, establishing a swift double break, and a flat Jabeur found no way back. A drop shot into the net on set point summed up her drastic drop in level.

Jabeur stopped the rot by breaking serve at the start of the decider. Pegula immediately got back on level terms, but another break for Jabeur saw her pull away, on her way to victory in an hour and 54 minutes, a tour-leading 12th win of the season on clay.

The impressive Jabeur is also the first Arab winner of a tournament at this lofty level.

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time with a battling 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-5) triumph to book his place in the Madrid Open final.

World number one Djokovic breezed past Pole Hubert Hurkacz to reach the final four in Madrid for the seventh time, while Alcaraz battled past compatriot Rafael Nadal to make the semi-finals.

That made 19-year-old Alcaraz the first teenager to beat record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal on clay on the ATP Tour, and the Spaniard again raced out of the blocks as he immediately broke Djokovic.

However, the experienced Serbian returned the favour to level at 4-4, before eventually claiming the first set with a tie-break win after an hour-and-two-minute battle.

Neither relented in the second set, with both holding their first five service games before Alcaraz eventually broke the top seed – the first set Djokovic had dropped in Madrid – to send the match to a decider.

Alcaraz, buoyed on by a vociferous home crowd, had won three consecutive three-setters before the last-four meeting, and had the chance to follow suit, only for Djokovic to deliver an ace at match point.

Another tie-break was required to separate the pair, with Alcaraz eventually triumphing after three hours and 35 minutes to record his sixth straight win over top-10 ranked players.

Teenage star Alcaraz became the first player to defeat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back, while he is the youngest player to defeat a world number one in 17 years.

Alcaraz, who has won his last nine matches, will now await the result of the other semi-final between Alexander Zverev and Stefano Tsitsipas to see who he will face in the final on Sunday in the Spanish capital.

Rafael Nadal acknowledged Carlos Alcaraz can be considered a "replacement" after losing to his teenage rival at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz is one of the most exciting rising stars on the ATP Tour and only enhanced his growing status with a three-set defeat of the 'King of Clay' in the Spanish capital to set up a mouth-watering semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic.

In doing so, Alcaraz became the first teenager to beat Nadal on clay and he has now won five straight matches against top-10 opponents.

Given both men hail from Spain, the comparisons are sure to be made and Nadal can see why many would see Alcaraz as the many to take up the mantle.

"It is evident that he is a replacement because one is 19 years old and the other 36, if it is from today or not I don't know, we'll see," Nadal said.

"Above all I'm happy for him, he has been better than me in several facets of the game and I need to improve, as I have been saying."

Nadal, though, says nothing changes in his determination to extend his record of 21 major titles for a male player when he attempts to win a 14th French Open title – his 13 also representing a benchmark tally.

"[There is] nothing that will not enter into logic and is accepted naturally, calmly and with the certainty that there is a path to follow for another two and a half weeks, to arrive with real options to generate opportunities for myself," he added.

"In that sense it is an easy defeat to digest, although I do not take any credit from Carlos.

"The first thing is to congratulate the rival but from there I have to do my self-criticism and understand what needs to be improved to arrive with options next week and especially in two. 

"I have to improve and it improves with games, you have to follow the path with the right determination, you have to analyse things and look forward, there is a goal ahead that overcomes anything."

Novak Djokovic labelled Carlos Alcaraz as "special" and praised the Spaniard for "breathing new life into the world of tennis".

Serbian Djokovic defeated Pole Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-4 to reach his seventh Madrid Open semi-final, where he will meet Alcaraz, who overcame Rafael Nadal 6-2 1-6 6-3 on Friday.

Victory made 19-year-old Alcaraz the first teenager to beat record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal on clay on the ATP Tour.

Alcaraz has won his last five matches against top-10 opponents and next faces world number one Djokovic for a place in the final in the Spanish capital.

Djokovic was quick to hail Alcaraz, who will play in his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final on Saturday.

"There are many things that are special about him," Djokovic said in a news conference.

"In the last decades, we have had some incredible champions [as teenagers] like Michael Chang. But, nowadays, we're not used to seeing someone who is a teenager and already breaks into the top 10 and plays at such a high level.

"His growth, his improvement and his trajectory, especially in the last six months, have been incredible.

"He is a very nice guy off the court. I had the opportunity to train with him and spend a little time off the court with him here in Madrid, and I must say that on all fronts, he is great on and off the court."

Quoted by Spanish media, Djokovic said of Alcaraz: "I love watching him play, like many other players on tour. I praise his game without a doubt. It's fantastic for our sport, without a doubt.

"I think it's fantastic that we have a young player who is doing so well and who is breathing new life into the world of tennis."

Alcaraz expressed personal delight after defeating clay-court great and compatriot Nadal, battling back from an injury worry in the second set.

"It means a lot to me. All the hard work I put in every day has paid off," he said in the aftermath of his victory. "To beat Rafa, the best player in history on clay, it means a lot.

"The fall in the second set affected me a lot. When I lost the set I went to the bathroom and thought I would be able to come back to do my best and try everything.

"I wanted to fight until the last ball and that was the key."

Carlos Alcaraz withstood an injury scare and a fightback from Rafael Nadal to beat his countryman and set up a semi-final with Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open.

The 19-year-old had lost his previous two encounters with Nadal, but he came out on top 6-2 1-6 6-3 in Friday's match in the Spanish capital.

It made him the first teenager to beat the record 21-time grand slam winner on clay on the ATP Tour.

Alcaraz has now won his last five matches against top-10 opponents and will next take on world number one Djokovic, who earlier defeated Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-4, for a place in Sunday's final.

Nadal, who had won his previous 25 matches against fellow Spaniards, struggled to handle the intensity of his opponent's game in a first set that saw him lose serve three times.

Alcaraz struck 19 winners in the opening set in total and took three games in a row to edge ahead, though the youngster lost his footing at 1-1 in the second set and required a medical time-out.

After having his ankle strapped up, Alcaraz struggled to match his levels from the first set and Nadal – competing in a record-extending 99th Masters 1000 quarter-final – went through the gears, taking 20 of the final 22 points to level the contest.

That gave Nadal momentum heading into the deciding set, yet it was Alcaraz who earned the only break of serve in the fourth game with some powerful hitting before seeing out a statement victory.

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.

Rafael Nadal saved four match points before seeing off David Goffin 6-3 5-7 7-6 (11-9) to book his place in the Madrid Open quarter-finals.

A five-time champion in the Spanish capital, Nadal is looking to match Novak Djokovic's career record of 37 ATP Masters 1000 titles this week.

Returning to action for the first time since losing to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, after which he discovered he had a stress fracture of a rib, Nadal was taken all the way by Goffin.

Indeed, the Belgian qualifier won four straight games from 5-3 down in the second set to force a decider, but he saw four opportunities to advance to the quarter-finals go begging.

Nadal subsequently prevailed to reach his 99th Masters 1000 quarter-final, setting up a last-eight showdown with teenage compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.

Birthday boy Alcaraz, who turned 19 on Thursday, celebrated with a hard-earned 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 victory over Britain's Cameron Norrie.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev reached his fifth successive quarter-final at this event after beating Lorenzo Musetti, who retired with a thigh injury shortly after losing the opening set, at 6-3 1-0 down.

Next up for Zverev is Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Rotterdam Open champion, who is targeting a first clay-court Masters 1000 semi-final. Auger-Aliassime won 90 per cent of points on first serve in a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over Jannik Sinner.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also produced a strong-serving display in his 6-3 6-4 triumph over Grigor Dimitrov. Last season’s French Open runner-up hit 10 aces along the way.

The fourth seed set up a showdown with Andrey Rublev, who had eight aces as he overcame Dan Evans 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Meanwhile, Hubert Hurkacz will play Djokovic in the last eight after hitting 16 aces in his 7-5 6-3 win over Dusan Lajovic. Djokovic's much-anticipated clash with Andy Murray was called off, with the Briton unwell, handing his Serbian rival a walkover.

Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Madrid Open through illness, having been due to play old rival Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

Murray and Djokovic first faced off on the ATP Tour in Madrid 16 years ago and had been set to clash again in the last 16 after the Briton beat Dominic Thiem followed by Denis Shapovalov at the ATP 1000 event, where the world number one eased past Gael Monfils.

However, the Madrid Open confirmed on its Twitter page on Thursday that Murray would be unable to compete "due to illness", meaning Andrey Rublev and Dan Evans are to instead open the day's play on centre court.

The Serbian, who has a 25-11 record against Murray, will now face the winner of Hubert Hurkacz and Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-final after being given a walkover.

After his win against Shapovalov, Murray was excited about the prospect of locking horns with Djokovic again, saying: "In theory I should have no chance in the match. He's obviously number one in the world [and] I'm playing with a metal hip, so I shouldn't have a chance in the match.

"We've had so many great battles over the years in some of the biggest tournaments in the world. We played in the final I think of all four grand slams, we played here in the final, and I haven't had that opportunity to play against him for a long time."

Sadly for Murray, and tennis fans, that wait will have to go on for a bit longer.

David Goffin was impressive in his 6-4 6-2 win against Botic van de Zandschulp – earning a third round fixture against Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of the Madrid Open.

The Belgian was stronger both on serve and in the return game, winning 66 per cent of his service points compared to Van de Zandschulp's 53 per cent, and 47 per cent of his return points to the Dutchman's 34 per cent.

Goffin will face Nadal next for a place in the quarter-finals as the Spaniard searches for his first Madrid crown since 2017.

In a clash between two of the world's top-25 players, Italy's Jannik Sinner came out on top 6-4 6-1 against Australia's Alex de Minaur.

After a tight first set, which featured four consecutive breaks of serve, Sinner found another gear in the second.

He improved his service points from 53 per cent up to 80 per cent, allowing no break point opportunities for the Aussie and converting the two break points he created for himself.

Fourth seed Stefano Tsitsipas was rock-solid against France's Lucas Pouille, taking it 6-3 6-4.

The Greek won 94 per cent of his successful first serves and allowed just one break point – instantly breaking back to-love the following game.

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.

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