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On 20th birthday, Carlos Alcaraz defeats Borna Coric in straight sets to return to Madrid final
The Spaniard extended his winning streak at ATP events in Spain to 20 matches in a row with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Published May 05, 2023
Playing in front of his adoring home crowd on his 20th birthday, Carlos Alcaraz has defeated Borna Coric, 6-4, 6-3, to get within one win of successfully defending his Mutua Madrid Open crown.
Since Madrid debuted on the ATP calendar in 2002, only one man—Rafael Nadal—has successfully defended the title in the Spanish capital, winning it in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014.
“It means a lot to me, you know, playing another final here in Madrid,” Alcaraz said. “It’s such a special place for me. I have great memories since I came here to play under 12, and of course last year was amazing. And turning 20 like that is always special.
“I will enjoy the final, and of course I’ll try to make all Spain happy.”
The number 20 wasn’t just significant because Friday was Alcaraz’s 20th birthday—this was also the Spaniard’s 20th win in a row at ATP events in Spain, a streak that dates back to just over a year ago.
ALCARAZ’S 20-MATCH WINNING STREAK AT ATP EVENTS IN SPAIN:
5-0 to win 2022 Barcelona
5-0 to win 2022 Madrid
5-0 to win 2023 Barcelona
5-0 to reach 2023 Madrid final
The No. 2-ranked Spaniard did lose a match in Spain last fall, to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Davis Cup play, but while Davis Cup wins and losses are counted as tour-level, they aren’t ATP events.
The early goings of Friday's first semifinal were incredibly close—they were still on serve at 2-all after almost half an hour on court—but Alcaraz drew first blood in the next game, breaking for 3-2, and he hung onto that break until he served out the opening set at love, dusting it off with a huge crosscourt forehand winner.
He then broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set, but Coric broke back for 2-all—but the Spaniard broke again for 3-2, and then one more time in the very last game of the match to close it out.
At the end of the day, Alcaraz finished with more winners (24 to 16) and fewer unforced errors (18 to 20) than the No. 20-ranked Coric.
“It was a goal for me in the beginning of the match to try to start the point playing my game, playing aggressive,” Alcaraz said. “This is something I’m looking for in every match, trying to attack on the return, and of course trying to play with my forehand.”
Alcaraz is now through to the fourth Masters 1000 final of his career, and he's won his previous three—Miami and Madrid last year and Indian Wells earlier this year—in straight sets.
Standing between Alcaraz and another Masters 1000 title will be the winner of the second semifinal between Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev and German lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff.