Cheered on by an enthusiastic home crowd at the Manolo Santana stadium, a 6-7(5) 7-5 7-6(5) victory over the Serb made Alcaraz the first player in history to beat Nadal and Djokovic in back -to-back matches on clay.
Alcaraz only turned 19 on Thursday and took the match from the start to the 20-time grand slam winner, a spectacular series of drop shots that helped the world No. 9 take the second set after painfully losing the first. in a tie-break.
Alcaraz then wrote “Un partido en Madrid es molto longo” (“A match in Madrid takes a long time”) on a nearby TV camera, citing a comment made by Real Madrid legend Juanito in 1986, which has since become synonymous with the frequent comebacks.
Foot on the ground
With a playing time of three hours 35 minutes, this was the perfect sign for Alcaraz, who will become the youngest finalist of the Madrid Open on Sunday when he faces Alexander Zverev from Germany on Sunday.
Alcaraz’s run in Madrid continues an incredible season for the teenager, after becoming the youngest ever winner of the Miami Open in April, but the youngster keeps his feet firmly on the ground.
“I’m not going to tell you,” Alcaraz answered when asked who was the best player in the world at the moment.
“I was able to beat number 1, but I’m still number 9 — I have eight more players ahead of me to become number one.
“We’re going to have a great time enjoying the moment, but tomorrow I’m going to play a final of a very big tournament … tonight I will be very focused to be able to recover and be as good as possible for the game tomorrow.”
Alcaraz had received glowing praise from Nadal after his Miami win, who predicted it would be the “first of many” for his compatriot, and Djokovic shared Nadal’s feelings in defeat.