Alcaraz downs Carreño in Barcelona Open final

Barcelona, Spain, Apr 24 (EFE).- Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz defeated countryman Pablo Carreño 6-3 and 6-2 in the Barcelona Open to take the Banc Sabadell-Conde de Godo trophy, not to mention Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal’s crown in the tourney.

With the win, the 18-year-old Alcaraz will now move up to No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, thus making him the youngest player ever to get into the tennis world’s Top 10 since Nadal himself reached that level 17 years ago after winning his first trophy in the Catalonian capital.

This was the fourth title win for Alcara and his first Barcelona title, after winning the Umag tourney last year and the Rio de Janeiro and Miami tennis tournaments earlier in 2022.

Carreño, a semifinalist at Barcelona in 2018 and 2021, also hoped for his first Godo trophy on Sunday, after defeating sixth seed Diego Schwartzman in the semis two hours earlier. Alcaraz had defeated Australia’s Alex de Miñaur in his own semifinals match earlier on Sunday.

The semifinals had been postponed to Sunday due to rain and Alcaraz took 3 hours and 40 minutes to vanquish De Miñaur, thus having two hours less time to rest than Carreño before facing off against him in the final.

But despite the grueling match earlier in the day, Alcaraz clearly dominated play against the No. 19-ranked Carreño, controlling the action throughout the match lasting just an hour and 6 minutes, during which he never faced a break point but broke his rival on four of the 10 chances he got.

Although the first set started out with both players grabbing two games, from then on it was all Alcaraz, who romped to 6-3 in the set in just 35 minutes.

The pair train at the same facility and know each other well, but they had not faced one another yet on the circuit.

In the second set Alcaraz went up by 2-0, just as he’d done in the first set before Carreño mounted a bit of a comeback, but with the set at 3-2 from then on the Murcia native had it all his way until the 6-2 result.

“In the end, you put the limits on yourself and I don’t want to put any limit on myself. I want to continue playing at the level at which I’m playing because if I keep (doing that) I have lots of options to keep winning tourneys,” said Alcaraz after the match.

Meanwhile, Carreño said of Alcaraz: “He played very well and gave me very few chances. (He’s got) a power and intensity that … is tough to match … He came out very aggressively, firing hard from the backcourt and he got winners from lots of places.”

But, even so, Carreño said that although he had a “bad taste in my mouth” over losing, he was satisfied with his own overall performance during the tourney.

In the 2021 Barcelona tournament, Alcaraz, then ranked No. 119 worldwide, was defeated in straight sets in the first round by Frances Tiafoe.

EFE gmh/ism/bp

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