Carlos Alcaraz fended off a match point en route to a 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win over Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday to reach the Cincinnati Open final, where he will meet Novak Djokovic in a rematch of last month’s Wimbledon final.
The Spanish world No.1 has lived dangerously since capturing his second grand slam title at the All-England Club, needing three sets in all his matches here, including his quarter-final win over qualifier Max Purcell.
Hurkacz, who narrowly lost to Alcaraz in the quarters of the Canadian Open, raced to a 3-0 lead as Alcaraz mixed dazzling shotmaking with some head-scratching errors in the entertaining first set.
Alcaraz took control from the tie-breaker of the second set and ensured victory. A perfectly executed volley on his first match point delivered Alcaraz into his eighth final of the year.
“It doesn’t matter if I play a third set, long matches, I’m recovering really, really well with my physio, with my team. I feel like I’m going to play the first match of the tournament. I feel great.”
In the night match, Alexander Zverev put pressure on Djokovic’s serve in the first game of the match but failed to convert any of his three break point chances as the 23-time grand slam champion served his way out of trouble to win 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.
Djokovic managed to serve out the match on his second opportunity to set up the generational clash between the ATP’s two highest ranked players.
Muchova vs Gauff
It will be a first WTA 1000 final for unseeded Czech Karolina Muchova, who beat a misfiring world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday.
She will face Coco Gauff, seeded seventh, in the final. Gauff beat world No.1 Iga
Swiatek 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4 for the first time in eight meetings
on Saturday to advance to the final.