Alcaraz Draws Level With Djokovic For Masters 1000 Finals Before Turning 21

Alcaraz Draws Level With Djokovic For Masters 1000 Finals Before Turning 21

by Nurein Ahmed

Carlos Alcaraz reached his fifth ATP Masters 1000 final of his career and went on level terms with Novak Djokovic for appearances in that category before turning 21.

The ATP Masters 1000 category was incepted in 1990, and only one player currently stands head and shoulders above the rest in this record. That man is Rafael Nadal who reached a staggering 11 finals at Masters 1000 level before turning 21.

Alcaraz saw off a feisty Hubert Hurkacz in a thrilling semifinal on Saturday afternoon, staving off a match point to win 2-6, 7-6, 6-3. It is the second time that Alcaraz has beaten Hurkacz in the US swing this year, having outlasted the big-serving Pole at last week's Canadian Open in Montreal.

But their latest duel couldn't have been any closer, with Hurkacz keeping Alcaraz at bay with his humongous serve. The Pole saved 10 of 11 break points, but he was left to rue missed opportunities, firstly spurning a match point at 5-4 on Alcaraz's serve and then letting slip a 4-1 lead in the second-set tiebreak.

Alcaraz eventually found his range and his patience and persistence were rewarded when he fought back from the brink in the tiebreak and then broke the unseeded Pole midway through the deciding set en route to victory.

At 20, he equals Djokovic in second place with five finals before 21. Coincidentally, it will be the Serbian World No. 2 who Alcaraz will face in Sunday's blockbuster, which is sure to garner widespread interest from all corners of the world.

Tying or even surpassing Nadal won't be possible, as there'll be only five Masters tournaments on schedule between now and the first week of May when Alcaraz will then turn 21. So Alcaraz can mathematically reach at least five more finals at Masters 1000 level before 21, taking his tally to 10.


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