RIO DE JANEIRO:
World number two Carlos Alcaraz got a break in both sets and won in a tie to defeat Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/0) on Friday in the ATP Rio Open quarter-finals.
The 19-year-old Spaniard claimed his third win in three matches against the 32-year-old Lajovic, including a quarter-final victory over the 80-year-old Serbian in the quarter-finals at the Argentina Open last week. ago.
Alcaraz went on to win that title to seal his comeback from a four-month injury layoff that saw him miss the Australian Open.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, Alcaraz will face Chilean Nicolas Jarry, who defeated sixth seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
Alcaraz is trying to defend the title that made him the youngest winner of an ATP 500 tournament last year.
Britain second Cameron Norrie earned his semi-final spot with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Bolivian Hugo Dellian.
Norrie, who is trying to reach his third final of the year, will face Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain, who defeated his brother Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Alcaraz improved his perfect record in 2023 to 7-0, but he had to think about some things along the way.
“It was a very tough game,” Alcaraz said. “Dusan has a good forehand, very good backhand, good serve, very good shot, and today he showed it, he made a show.
“But I was determined. In the end, I was very happy to solve those problems.”
Alcaraz trailed 2-4 in both sets, reeling off the last four games of the first before finding herself in another battle in the second.
He tied 32 wins to Lajovic’s 13 and won 16 of 17 points in net.
But 25 unforced errors contributed to the woes which saw him go down an early break in both sets.
In the second, he broke back with a forehand winner to tie the set at 4-4.
He led 40-0 in the 11th game only to give up his serve and save a set point heading into the break in the next game that forced the lead.
“There are times when the best players are different from other players, and I try to play at my highest level,” said Alcaraz.
Alcaraz, whose five titles last year included the US Open making him number one in the world, he was strong throughout the selection, and put away his first shot and a first shot winner.
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