Rio de Janeiro | Alacaraz tops two Italians on same day to reach final

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As a result of rain disruption during the week in Rio de Janeiro, the players at the Rio Open presented by Claro, had to play catch up to get the schedule back on course with the quarter and semi-finals being played on the Saturday and both Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, rose to the occasion to face each other in Sunday’s final.

I surprised myself to be able to win two matches in a row in the same day. It’s tough to win one match, two is even tougher Carlos Alcaraz

And the teenager Alcaraz produced the results of the day as he stunned two Italians, first the top seed Matteo Berrettini 6-2 2-6 6-2 and then returned to the courts a few hours later to defeat Fabio Fognini 6-2 7-5 in the semis to reach his second career final on what proved to be a hectic day.

“It means a lot to me,” the 18-year-old Alcaraz said on reaching his first final since winning Umag last year.

“I surprised myself to be able to win two matches in a row in the same day. It’s tough to win one match, two is even tougher.”

Despite his youth, the youngster showed plenty of confidence to take full advantage of situations as they arose. Against Fognini he dominated the first set only to fall behind 4-1 in the second but showed great composure and with some powerful play, won six of the next seven games to secure a well-deserved victory at virtually 1am on Sunday morning!

Earlier, Schwartzman backed up an afternoon 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 marathon win over Spain’s Pablo Andujar, with a two-hour long evening 7-6(4) 6-3 win over countryman Francisco Cerundolo to reach the championship match, his second tour final in as many weeks.

“Unbelievable. The effort I did today with my team, not just me. Also, Francisco, both of us, and now Fognini and Alcaraz,” Schwartzman said.

“Yesterday we were here all day long. We went to the hotel at 10 p.m. yesterday, coming back in the morning today to play one match, now the other one. I don’t know how I did it, I really don’t understand how I did it, but I did.”

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