Before the Madrid Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas was the youngest player with victories over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Stefanos took down Novak in Toronto 2018 and ousted Rafa a year later in Madrid to complete a challenging task at 20. Last week, Carlos Alcaraz took the record away from Tsitsipas in style at Caja Magica, defeating two legends in consecutive days at 19 years and two days! Alcaraz became the fifth player with wins over Nadal and Djokovic in back-to-back days and the first to topple them at the clay-court event. Alcaraz earned his first victory over Nadal in the quarter-final, beating his idol 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. Carlos took fool advantage of the fact that Rafa did not play for six weeks, dominating sets one and three to arrange the clash against Novak Djokovic. A teenager defended six out of nine break points and secured four breaks that carried him through. Alcaraz landed 37 winners and started all over from set number three to topple the king of clay and remain on the title course.
Carlos Alcaraz defeated two legends just after turning 19.
A day later, Carlos prevailed over world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in three hours and 35 minutes of an epic battle. The encounter saw only three breaks of serve, and the youngster stayed calm in the closing stages of sets two and three to emerge at the top and advance into the title clash. Djokovic climbed back from 4-2 down in the first set and took charge behind the initial shot to keep the pressure on the other side. The Serb claimed the tie break 7-5 for a massive boost ahead of set number two. The home favorite had no room for errors in the second set, and he kept pushing strong. The more aggressive player fended off a break chance in games nine and 11 to stay on the positive side. Carlos grabbed a break at 15 in the 12th game with a forehand down the line winner to force a decider and gain a massive boost. Djokovic survived three break points in the final set’s fourth game and two more at 2-3 to prolong his chances.
Alcaraz fended off a break chance in game seven with a service winner, and Novak had a massive opportunity to create three break chances at 4-4 that could have sent him closer to the top. He missed a routine forehand, and Alcaraz held at 30 for an enormous boost. The Serb denied a match point in game ten with a service winner and closed it with another after four deuces. The encounter went into a deciding tie break, and Alcaraz moved 3-1 ahead with a backhand down the line bullet. Djokovic pulled the mini-break back with a volley winner at the net, and the Spaniard attacked first in the next one to open a 4-2 gap. Carlos generated a 5-3 lead with a good serve, and Novak stayed in contention with a deep return in the following point. Djokovic sprayed a forehand mistake at 4-5 to face two more match points. He saved the first with a service winner, and Carlos seized the second with a forehand down the line winner to celebrate an epic victory and earn a massive record!