Carlos Alcaraz Nadal

‘I got a bit lost. The key was staying calm’, says Carlos Alcaraz after winning battle of generations

Young ATP star Carlos Alcaraz won a clash of generations by beating veteran Feliciano Lopez to reach the quarter-finals of the Andalucia Open.

The 17-year-old Spaniard defeated his 39-year-old compatriot 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the ATP 250 tournament in Marbella on Thursday.

It was the third biggest age difference between players in an ATP match since 1990 – with the contest between 18-year-old Dominic Thiem and 44-year-old Thomas Muster in Vienna in 2011 topping the list.

World No. 64 Lopez – winner of seven ATP singles titles – turned professional in 1997, six years before Alcaraz was born.

“It was a difficult match, Feli is a great player with a great serve and great volley,” Alcaraz said in a post-match interview.

“I started the match very well with a break in the first few games, but I got a little bit lost toward the end of the first set. Feli took advantage of that, and of course he used his experience in those moments.

“The key was that I stayed calm after losing the first set. I came out in the second set very focused and knowing what I had to improve.”

World No. 133 Alcaraz will face third seed Casper Ruud on Friday in his first ATP tour quarter-final.

“Casper Ruud is a great player and he’s No. 26 in the ATP rankings. I saw (some of) his matches,” Alcaraz added on the Norwegian.

“I know he has a good serve and a good forehand. I will have to be focused on his forehand and try to play aggressive. Let’s see what happens in the match.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.