Novak Djokovic reached the last four in Madrid after beating Hubert Hurkaj in straight sets. Rafael Nadal was knocked out by fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won his first career match against the 21-time Grand Slam champion; Djokovic will face Alcaraz in the semifinals on Saturday
Novak Djokovic reaches semifinals of Madrid Open after defeating Hubert Hurkaj
Novak Djokovic has reached the semifinals of the Madrid Open – but the search for Rafael Nadal to win his sixth title in the event is over.
Top seed Djokovic created a potential rivalry with Nadal by defeating Hubert Hurkaj 6-3 6-4, but Nadal then lost to fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-2 1-6 6-3 as he lost to the teenager on the ground. For the first time.
In last year’s French Open semifinals, Djokovic and Nadal met for the 59th time on the ATP Tour to continue the rivalry of the Serbs, who are now 30-28 after winning the previous match.
But after returning from a six-week absence from the Indian Wells event in March due to a rib injury, 21-time Grand Slam winner Nadal played a spoiler in the first event of his career.
Alcaraz got his first win against Nadal in the third attempt, as the 19-year-old lost to the 35-year-old in the Indian Wells semifinals earlier this year and in his last 32 games at the 2021 Madrid Open.
Nadal won the Madrid Open in 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
Three-time champion Djokovic, winner of events in 2011, 2016 and 2019, made it easy for Poland’s Hurcage to win in Madrid on Friday.
The 34-year-old converted his fourth match point to win 1 hour and 20 minutes later, extending his impeccable record against Hurcage to 4-0.
Djokovic defeated Gayle Monfils in his first match and got a round in the second because Andy Murray withdrew due to illness.
After saving four points for the match, Nadal defeated Miomi Kikmanovic before beating David Goffin on Thursday, saying he was inspired by Real Madrid’s return to Manchester City in the Champions League.
But Alcaraj finished with his championship, looking forward to his fourth title in 2022 after previous victories in Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona.