Barcelona Open: Carlos Alcaraz beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to retain title | tennis news

World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz retained the Barcelona Open title with a straight sets win over Stefanos Tsitsipas as he claimed a third trophy of the 2023 season.

Spaniard Alcaraz, who does not turn 20 until May, defeated his Greek opponent 6-3 6-4 in a battle of the top two seeds to add to his titles in Rio de Janeiro in February and Indian Wells in March.

The teenager did not drop a set throughout the tournament in Barcelona, ​​with his successes across the week including a 6-2 6-2 defeat of Great Britain’s Dan Evans in Saturday’s semi-final.

Alcaraz said: “It’s incredible… to feel this energy and lift the trophy in Barcelona in front of my family and friends, and most members of my team are here as well. Playing this level and to lift the trophy in front of them is a good feeling for me.”

Alcaraz may end up as the favorite for the French Open, which runs from May 28 to June 11, with world No 1 Novak Djokovic and 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafa Nadal nursing elbow and hip injuries respectively.

Nadal has not played since the Australian Open in January and does not know when he will return to action, while Djokovic – beaten by fellow Serb Dusan Lajović in the quarter-finals of the Srpksa Open on Friday – has withdrawn from next week’s Madrid Open.

Carlos Alcaraz (Associated Press)
Alcaraz has also won in Rio and Indian Wells this year

Djokovic’s compatriot Lajovic went on to win the Srpska Open in Bosnia and Herzegovina, picking up another notable scalp in the final when he beat second seed Andrey Rublev 6-3 4-6 6-4.

Lajovic said after claiming his second ATP Tour title and first since 2019: “I am thrilled and overwhelmed that I did it this week.

“The last time I was in a final was four years ago and I have been through a lot since then. I still believed in myself, even though I did not have the best last year. This victory means a lot.”

Britain’s Jamie Murray won the doubles title in Bosnia with New Zealander MichaelVenus but Neal Skupski and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof had to settle for the runners-up spot in Barcelona, ​​losing in a deciding tie-break to Argentinian duo Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni.

Elsewhere, Danish teenager Holger Rune retained the BMW Open title in Munich, coming back from 5-2 down in the deciding set against Botic van de Zandschulp to win 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-3).

Van de Zandschulp served for the match three times and created four match points but went on to suffer defeat to Rune in the final for the second year running, having retired seven games into the 2022 showpiece.

Rune, who needed treatment for arm and ankle problems in the third set, said: “I was feeling really exhausted but I was fighting until the end and I tried everything I could to come back into the match.

“We really pushed each other to the limit and I am super happy I defended the title.”