Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Feb 26 (IANS) Spanish former World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz twice came back from the brink of defeat and also braved a niggle to his upper left leg to overcome qualifier Nicolas Jarry of Chile in three sets in the semifinals of the Rio Open ATP Tour event here. He will next face Briton Cameron Norrie in the final.
Alcaraz, who is on a perfect run following his return from injury that kept him out of the Australian Open, was facing a really tough time against Jarry, who was giving the Spaniard all he could handle in Saturday’s Rio Open semifinals.
The Chilean was twice within two games of victory at 4-4 and 5-5 in the second set, with Alcaraz receiving treatment on his upper left leg after holding on both of those occasions.
But just when he seemed at his most vulnerable, not having seen a break point since he stopped Jarry from serving out the opening set at 5-3, the 19-year-old reeled off eight straight games in devastating fashion for a 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-0 victory.
Both men entered the matchup on winning streaks, and their play on Court Guga Kuerten showed why. By improving to 8-0 on the season, Alcaraz ended the five-match Rio run of Jarry, who did not drop a set across two qualifying rounds and three main-draw victories.
For the second straight week on South American clay, Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie will meet in an ATP Tour final as the top two seeds. Alcaraz earned a 6-3, 7-5 win against the Briton last week in Buenos Aires to improve to 4-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.
Norrie advanced to the final with a three-set win of his own, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3) against Bernabe Zapata Miralles.