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Carlos Alcaraz upsets Matteo Berrettini, then tops Fabio Fognini to reach Rio Open final

After a marathon Saturday at the Rio Open, Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz upset first seed Matteo Berrettini and then overcame another Italian, Fabio Fognini, in the semifinals to reach his second career final.

The 18-year-old Alcaraz won his quarterfinal match against Berrettini 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 in front of home fans in Rio de Janeiro before returning to the court hours later to beat Fognini 6-2, 7-5 to advance to Sunday’s final against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

Due to heavy rain in Rio during the week, the quarterfinals and semifinals were played on Saturday.

“It means a lot to me,” Alcaraz said of reaching the final for the first time since winning in Umag last year. “I was shocked at how quickly I was able to win two games in a row on the same day. Winning one match is difficult; winning two is even more difficult.”

The Spaniard fell behind 1-4 in the second set after a brilliant first set, as Fognini gained confidence and rode his momentum. Despite his youth, the 29th-ranked Alcaraz showed good experience and calm to recover control by pinning the Italian back with powerful hitting to take six of the next seven games and claim a well-deserved victory as the clock in Rio approached one a.m.

Earlier in the day, Schwartzman followed up a grueling 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Pablo Andujar with a two-hour 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory against countryman Franciso Cerundolo in the evening to reach his second tour final in as many weeks.

The Argentine saved three set points before winning the first set in a tiebreaker, paving the path for a much-needed straight-set victory.

“Unbelievable. Today’s work was made in collaboration with my team, not just by me. Also, both of us, Francisco, and now Fognini and Alcaraz, “According to Schwartzman. “We were here all day yesterday. We arrived at the hotel at 10 p.m. yesterday, returning this morning to play one match, then the other. I’m not sure how I did it, and I’m not sure why I did it, but I did.”

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