Paris (AFP) – Carlos Alcaraz will play Novak Djokovic in a blockbuster French Open semi-final after the Spanish world number one beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Alcaraz becomes the youngest French Open men’s semi-finalist since Djokovic in 2007 after defeating former Roland Garros runner-up Tsitsipas for the fifth time in as many attempts.
Alcaraz will face Djokovic for only the second time in his career. He beat the 22-time Grand Slam champion in three sets in Madrid last year.
“This match everyone wants to watch and I would say it is going to be a good match to play and watch as well,” Alcaraz said of his pending showdown with Djokovic.
“I really wanted to play this match. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best, and Novak Djokovic is one of the best in the world at the moment.”
Tsitsipas started the night session quarter-final with a confident hold but Alcaraz soon grabbed control with two breaks to bag the opening set.
Alcaraz’s mix of delicate drop shots and blistering groundstrokes were too much for an overmatched Tsitsipas, who tamely surrendered the second set with a double fault.
The top seed broke early in the third set but failed to serve it out at 5-3 as Tsitsipas offered some belated resistance, saving five match points before ultimately going down in the tie-break.
“I lost my focus a little bit at the end of the third set,” said Alcaraz.
“He started to play better and of course, I lost my focus a little bit, I was in trouble. I am happy to recover from that problem and still focus and play a great level.”
Earlier Friday, two-time Paris champion Djokovic defeated Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (7/0), 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals for the 12th time and 45th at the majors.