Carlos Alcaraz Stuns Novak Djokovic at Madrid Open After Ousting Rafael Nadal

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 7, 2022

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz reacts as he plays against Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their 2022 ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament men's singles semi-final match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 7, 2022. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

The legend of Carlos Alcaraz continued to grow Saturday as the 19-year-old tennis superstar defeated Novak Djokovic in a three-set thriller at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz, who also beat Rafael Nadal in three sets to meet Djokovic in the semifinals, earned a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory over the world's top-ranked men's tennis player.

Alcaraz, who is No. 9 in the ATP rankings, will face the winner of the Alexander Zverev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas matchup in the finals.

Alcaraz has enjoyed a tremendous 2022 season that includes titles at the Rio Open, Miami Open and Barcelona Open. He also reached the semifinals at Indian Wells but fell to Nadal in three sets.

However, Alcaraz then beat Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals to match up with Djokovic. In beating the latter player, Alcaraz made history:

OptaAce @OptaAce

1 - Carlos <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Alcaraz?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Alcaraz</a> is the first player ever to win against both Rafael <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nadal?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nadal</a> and Novak <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Djokovic?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Djokovic</a> in a single tournament on clay courts. Thunder.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MadridOpen2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MadridOpen2022</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/atptour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@atptour</a> <a href="https://t.co/YZpA3PfvgS">pic.twitter.com/YZpA3PfvgS</a>

It took nearly four hours for the Alcaraz-Djokovic match to end, but this baseline winner earned the Spaniard the victory.

Tennis TV @TennisTV

REMEMBER THIS MOMENT 🙌 <br><br>Match point as <a href="https://twitter.com/alcarazcarlos03?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alcarazcarlos03</a> defeats Novak Djokovic to become the youngest finalist in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MMOPEN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MMOPEN</a> history. <a href="https://t.co/5XhUInYuzu">pic.twitter.com/5XhUInYuzu</a>

Alcaraz spoke about what beating the World No. 1 meant for him after the match:

Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 @christophclarey

"It's incredible to beat the No. 1, especially here in Madrid. It was an atmosphere I will never forget, It reflects all the work we've done and the level I was building to all tournament" - Carlos Alcaraz to ATP TV after beating Nadal &amp; Djokovic

He'll also be among the top six in the ATP rankings on Monday. One year ago, Alcaraz was No. 120.

Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 @christophclarey

Carlos Alcaraz, whose goal for 2022 was to get into the top 15, is guaranteed to be ranked No. 6 on Monday<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/getty?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#getty</a> <a href="https://t.co/y48DzNwMO3">pic.twitter.com/y48DzNwMO3</a>

Now Alcaraz will head to the finals Sunday. He has faced both of his potential opponents before. Alcaraz is 3-0 against Tsitsipas (2-0 hard, 1-0 clay) and 0-2 versus Zverev (0-2 hard).