B’day boy Alcaraz in Madrid final


Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz celebrated his 20th birthday by storming into the Madrid Open final with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Borna Coric today to stay on track for his fourth title of the season.

Alcaraz has enjoyed a spectacular start to his career, becoming the youngest man to top the world rankings after his US Open win in September and has already claimed three Masters 1000 titles as a teenager.

He took a big step towards another Masters crown and stamped his credentials as one of the favourites for this month’s French Open on a warm afternoon with six-time Roland Garros champion Bjorn Borg watching on.

World No. 2 Alcaraz heaped the pressure on Coric in their first career meeting and faced stiff resistance from the Croatian 17th seed.

Nadal skips Italian Open

Rafa Nadal will miss next week’s Italian Open as he has yet to regain full fitness from the hip injury he sustained at January’s Australian Open, casting further doubt over his participation in the French Open. Nadal, a 14-time Roland Garros champion, skipped the ongoing Madrid Open and has also missed tournaments at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. — Reuters

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