Carlos Alcaraz underlined his status as one of the most exciting young talents in men’s tennis on Sunday by beating fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta to win the Barcelona Open.
Alcaraz defeated Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2 to claim a fourth title of his career and third this year, with the 18-year-old emerging as a serious contender for the French Open, which begins at Roland Garros next month.
After already winning on hard court in Miami and clay in Rio de Janeiro this season, Alcaraz saw off Carreno Busta in a swift 65 minutes to complete an impressive week in Barcelona.
The youngster from Murcia had already knocked out world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals while rain on Saturday meant a gruelling semi-final victory over Alex De Minaur, lasting three sets and 223 minutes, came on Sunday morning, just three hours before the final.
Alcaraz saved two match points to beat De Minaur 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
In theory, Carreno Busta should have begun the final the fresher of the two, after he needed only two sets to see off Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman but Alcaraz outpowered his compatriot to seal a comfortable win, his first triumph on home soil in Spain.
Victory also extends Alcaraz’s remarkable record so far in the finals. He has won four out four, winning eight sets and losing none.
The world number 11, who is set to rise to number nine on Monday, lost in the third round at the Australian Open in January but will certainly be one to watch at the French Open.
Alcaraz will be the youngest player to make the top 10 since compatriot Rafael Nadal in 2005.
Alcaraz broke Carreno Busta twice in each set and dropped only four points on his own serve in the whole match.