Alcaraz and Tsitsipas advance to Barcelona Open quarterfinals
BARCELONA, Spain -- Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz overcame windy conditions to advance to the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Stefanos Tsitsipas also reached the last eight in Barcelona, defeating Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-2.
Alcaraz was broken once in the first set and twice in the second but still managed to close out the match at the Rafa Nadal center court, winning the final 11 points and ending it with an ace.
“I’m happy to have advanced, it was a complicated match against a tough opponent and with difficult wind conditions,” the top-seeded Alcaraz said. “You have to adapt and find solutions in situations like this. It was very difficult to play at my best level today, and I’m sure it was for Roberto as well. All you can do is keep working out there as best as you can.”
It was the second consecutive straight-set win for the 19-year-old Alcaraz, who is trying to become the first repeat champion in Barcelona since Nadal won three consecutive titles from 2016-18.
Alcaraz’s next opponent will be another Spaniard, 10th-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 7-5. Alcaraz is 9-1 against Spaniards, with his only loss coming to Nadal in last year’s Indian Wells semifinals.
The 35-year-old Bautista Agut, the oldest player in the last 16, was a quarterfinalist in Barcelona in 2015 and 2018.
The second-seeded Tsitsipas saved both break points he faced against Shapovalov to move to 18-5 for the season.
“I tried to stay as aggressive as I could from the baseline,” Tsitsipas said. “Against Denis you have to keep up with the pace and be ready to attack when you can. It wasn’t easy out here but I did a very good job. I was responsible with my decision making. It was a good day.”
Tsitsipas will next face Alex de Minaur, who advanced with a walkover from Grigor Dimitrov.
The fifth-ranked Tsitsipas is making his fifth appearance in Barcelona, having lost in the final to Nadal in 2018 and 2021. The Greek lost in this year’s Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic.
Fourth-seeded Jannik Sinner overcame a second-set letdown to defeat Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 and reach his seventh quarterfinal of the season.
The Italian broke Nishioka’s serve three consecutive times to close out the third set.
Sinner moved to 26-6 for the season, having reached the semifinals in Monte Carlo. The eighth-ranked Italian will next face Lorenzo Musetti, who rallied to defeat Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Twelfth-seeded Daniel Evans beat Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-4.