VIENNA: Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz held his nerve in the final-set tie-break to beat Matteo Berrettini 6-1 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/5) in the quarter-finals of the ATP event in Vienna on Friday. The 18-year-old easily took the first set, lost the second on a tie-break before sealing victory over the Wimbledon finalist on his third match point in the third-set tie-break.
Alcaraz broke the Italian's first two service games of the match and cruised to the first set in 29 minutes. The second set went with serve, although Berrettini saved two break points in the fifth game before taking the tie-break comfortably.
Alcaraz broke the Italian in the fourth game of the final set and led 4-1 but Berrettini broke back to love in the seventh game. After Alcaraz raced to a 6-3 lead in the tie break, Berrettini held his serve on the first two before the Spaniard sealed victory on his own serve to reach his first ATP 500 semi-final.
He will face the winner of Friday's duel between the 12th-ranked Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime and Germany's Alexander Zverev, who is number four in the world. Alcaraz is the fifth-youngest semi-finalist in an ATP 500 event. The record is held by Zverev, who aged 17 reached the last four in Hamburg in 2014.
The Spaniard reached 38 in the world in September after progressing to the last eight at the US Open -- the youngest men's quarter-finalist in that Grand Slam tournament in 58 years.
At 18 years and four months -- a thigh injury forced him to retire from his US Open quarter-final with Auger-Aliassime -- he was the youngest player to be ranked so high since compatriot Rafael Nadal, who was 17 when he reached No. 37 in April 2004.