In the Madrid Open final on Sunday, world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz defeated lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to retain his title and collect his fourth ATP Tour trophy of the year and his 10th overall.
Alcaraz, who had a difficult start to the season due to injuries, returned in superb form last month to win the Barcelona Open for a second straight year. In a jam-packed Caja Magica in Madrid, the 20-year-old Spaniard needed to play his best tennis to defeat a persistent Struff in three sets.
Alcaraz had a fantastic start to the match when he broke Struff’s serve in the opening game. In the fourth game, the German attempted to repay the favor, but the Spaniard broke again and won the set 6-4.
Struff jumped up to an early 3-0 lead in the second set, which he won 6-3 thanks to his aggressive returns, but Alcaraz rallied in the third set, breaking to take the lead 3-1 and winning the set 6-3. Alcaraz, who became the youngest world No. 1 last September when he won the US Open, won his fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy with the triumph.
He said:“Lifting the prize in Madrid is “so, so special” for me, in my nation. It is always special to play, and it is especially special to achieve success here and win the championship. before my home crowd, my family, and my friends. everyone who is close to me. It is a unique emotion for me that I will never forget.
“Once more, it was incredible. My name has been greeted with applause by the crowd, my people, since day one. Having so many people root for you, encourage you, and support you is very fantastic.
Alcaraz has now won 21 straight matches on clay courts in Spain, but he had to work hard to defeat the 33-year-old, who was trying to become just the fourth player to win his first tour-level trophy at an ATP Masters 1000 and was the first lucky loser to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final since the series’ inception in 1990.
Alcaraz has amassed an astonishing 28-2 (93%) record since missing the Australian Open and the ATP Finals last year due to a three-month injury layoff.