Tennis: Alcaraz beats Tsitsipas to clinch back-to-back Barcelona titles
BARCELONA, Spain – World number two Carlos Alcaraz beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday and clinch his third ATP Tour title of the year and the ninth overall for the 19-year-old.
Alcaraz, who had an injury-plagued start to the season and was beaten by Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of his last tournament, the Miami Open, won in Barcelona for the second consecutive year, taking the title without losing a set.
The Spanish teenager beat world number five and second seed Tsitsipas with the same ease that he dispatched every other opponent in Barcelona this week.
Alcaraz, who in December became the youngest year-end world number one since the ATP rankings began, was close to perfection on Sunday and gave a masterclass as he won in less than 80 minutes.
It was Tsitsipas’s fourth consecutive loss to Alcaraz.
“Today I was myself, I was fluid and relaxed. It was the perfect moment to do it and I’m super happy to have delivered it in outstanding fashion,” Alcaraz told TVE.
“Yesterday, before going to sleep I was so tense and woke up today very nervous. However, the warm-up helped me to relax, and I thought I should let my body flow and not be tight.
“I wanted to forget about everything else and just be me on the court. I am still surprised to receive such a warm welcome here in my country, as a 19-year-old kid I could not imagine that I would experience what I’m living wherever I go.”
Tsitsipas managed to break Alcaraz in the third game, but the Spaniard hit right back and got another break before closing out the first-set in 38 minutes.
Alcaraz was even more aggressive in the second set as he attacked relentlessly and broke Tsitsipas’s serve in the fifth game.
He did not give his opponent a chance to fight back and closed out the match with a powerful forehand before celebrating with the home fans.
The next step in the Spaniard’s buildup to the French Open will be the Madrid Masters which starts next Thursday.