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Barcelona Open: Carlos Alcaraz overcomes Evans, sets up final with Tsitsipas

The top-seeded Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz eased past Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final of Barcelona Open, where he is bidding to become the first repeat champion since Rafael Nadal lifted the trophy three years in a row from 2016-18.

Now 22-2 for the year, Alcaraz will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas as he chases his third tour-level title of 2023.

The Buenos Aires and Indian Wells champion enters that clash holding a 3-0 ATP Head to Head series lead against Tsitsipas, a tally that includes a three-set quarter-final win in Barcelona last year.

“I feel really comfortable playing here in Barcelona and [I am] playing well,” said Alcaraz, who will try to successfully defend a title for the first time in his career against Tsitsipas.

“Stefanos as well is playing great matches. Last year we had a spicy match, let’s say. I know he’s a really nice guy off the court, so I’m going to try to forget everything that has happened in the matches before, try to focus on my game tomorrow, and try to get the win,” he said.

On Saturday night, Alcaraz was clinical with his chances to down Evans in 81 minutes on Pista Rafa Nadal, where he converted five of his seven break points.

Evans deployed typical variety in his shots, but his tactics were expertly countered by Alcaraz, who has now won all eight sets he has played this week at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899.

“It’s so special to play a final here in Barcelona, a tournament that I love playing. I came to watch this tournament when I was really young and I played for this club when I was 11 or 12. I love this club, I love this tournament, and it’s so special to have the chance to lift the trophy here again,” said Alcaraz.

Alcaraz broke twice in the opening set to take command of his second tour-level meeting with Evans before opening a 4-0 lead in the second. Although the World No. 26 Evans battled valiantly to the end and was rewarded for persistently moving to the net with his only break of the match in the fifth game, Alcaraz’s all-court game repeatedly proved too good.

The Spaniard’s ability to attack Evans’ serve was the defining feature of the match. Alcaraz won 57 per cent (28/49) of points on return to back up his win against the Briton in Vienna in 2021.

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