Madrid Open: Carlos Alcaraz advances into semi-finals after beating Karen Khachanov

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Carlos Alcaraz held off a late surge before beating Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals at the Madrid Open. Defending champion Alcaraz is bidding for successive ATP Tour titles after winning in Barcelona last week. The 19-year-old Spaniard took the opening set against 10th seed Khachanov with a single break in the seventh game. Alcaraz, the tournament's top seed, then rallied from 5-2 down to reel off the next five games and complete the victory.

"It was pretty tough. The first set as well, it was close," said Alcaraz after the match.

"I was in trouble in the second set, a break down and [he had] two break points to have the second break. So it was really tough for me to come back and he had his chances to win the second set.

"Luckily I knew I was going to have my chances. I just tried to take my opportunities and I'm really happy to get through." Alcaraz explained why it is that he can be seen chattering away to himself throughout matches. "I talk with myself a lot during the match, telling myself that I have to be passive and not to be in a rush in the point," said Alcaraz, when asked about keeping variety in his game. "Of course, a lot of things come to my mind, drop shots and a lot of [other] things, and sometimes it is tough to choose one." In the quarter-finals of the WTA event at the Caja Magica, Veronika Kudermetova battled past third seed Jessica Pegula 6-4 0-6 6-4. It was a seventh career win over a top-five ranked player, as the 12th-seeded Russian defeated the American world number three, last year's finalist, in just over two hours. "I feel so happy and proud of myself, because every match I played three sets," Kudermetova said.

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