World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to successfully defend his title at Barcelona Open, an ATP500 event, on Sunday.
Reigning US Open champion Alcaraz won 6-3, 6-4 against World No.5 Tsitsipas in an hour and 19 minutes to clinch his third title of the season and ninth overall in his career.
“It is incredible,” Alcaraz told atptour.com after his win. “To feel this energy and lift the trophy in Barcelona in front of my family and friends, and most members of my team are here as well. Playing this level and to lift the trophy in front of them is a good feeling for me.”
The Spanish teenager now holds a 4-0 head-to-head advantage over the 24-year-old Greek who was looking for his first Barcelona title on his third appearance in the summit clash.
In a battle of the top two seeds, Alcaraz dropped serve in the third game of the opening set but bounced back to break Tsitsipas in the next game. He broke the Greek again the eighth game before successfully holding serve to clinch the first set in 38 minutes.
Alcaraz broke Tsitsipas in the fifth game of the second set and that proved enough to seal the win.
Alcaraz defended a title for the first time in his career. He became the first teenager to win back-to-back crowns in Barcelona since his compatriot and 22-time Major champion Rafael Nadal did it in 2005-06. Nadal was also the last repeat winner in Barcelona when he won the tournament thrice from 2016-2018. However, the 36-year-old was forced to pull out of this year’s event as he continues to recover from a hip injury sustained at the Australian Open.
“I had the opportunity to see you a few years ago for the first time, I saw you play a little bit,” Tsitsipas, who suffered his 10th defeat in as many finals at the ATP500 level, said of Alcaraz. “Some of us guys who were on the tour a little bit earlier than you, I think most of us were fascinated by your tennis ... we see you as an example even though we are slightly older than you. We see your achievements as something that will hopefully push us to to do better.”
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