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Rafael Nadal one day. Novak Djokovic the other.
The list of victims of Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz keeps growing.
And so does the hype over tennis’ newest sensation.
After defeating his idol Nadal in the quarterfinals on Friday, the 19-year-old Alcaraz rallied to beat top-ranked Djokovic 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) after more than 3 1/2 hours on Saturday to reach the Madrid Open final.
Carlos Alcaraz reacts after winning a point to Novak Djokovic during a men’s semifinal at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Alcaraz converted on his third match point to clinch the victory in front of a raucous home crowd on the Caja Mágica center court.
A win on Sunday will give Alcaraz his fourth title this season, the most of any player.
He will face defending champion Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas, who met in the late semifinal on Saturday.
Alcaraz, the youngest player in the top 10 since Nadal in 2005, has won this year in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.
He beat Nadal for the first time on Friday, and triumphed against Djokovic in their first match.
Djokovic remains without a title this season as he continues to try to regain his best form going into his title defense at the French Open in nine days.