By H.JanGra May 06, 2022
Carlos Alcaraz overcame an injury scare on his way to a milestone victory over Rafael Nadal on Friday to set up a blockbuster semi-final against Novak Djokovic in Madrid
Alcaraz entered the contest with a 0-2 record against Nadal, but knew he had his chances given his opponent's lack of match play
Nadal was out of action for six weeks nursing a rib injury, and arrived to Madrid with little to no preparation on clay.
In an eventful quarter-final at the Caja Magica, the 19-year-old Alcaraz defeated 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to post a tour-leading 26th victory of the season.
"It means a lot to me, all the hard work that I put in every day paid off today to beat Rafa, beat the best player in history on clay, it means a lot to me," said Alcaraz
"It affected me a lot the fall in the second set but when I lost the second, I went to the bathroom and I believed I was able to get back, I was able to do my best, try everything on court, fight until the last ball and I think it was the key."
The first three games went against serve and lasted over 20 minutes before Alcaraz finally held for a 3-1 advantage
Nadal mustered just one more game in that set as Alcaraz snatched a commanding lead.
In the third game of the second set, Alcaraz took a tumble trying to retrieve a ball and he had a lengthy medical timeout at 1-2 to get his ankle taped. .
The seventh seed got broken upon resumption of play as Nadal inched ahead 3-1, but then another interruption came related to someone in the crowd.