Carlos Alcaraz wins the Madrid Open after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff.
Carlos Alcaraz, world number two, won the Madrid Open in three sets over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
The 20-year-old Spaniard won 6-4 3-6 6-3 for his fourth ATP Tour title of the season and his tenth overall.
Alcaraz is the second Spaniard to defend his championship in Madrid, following compatriot Rafael Nadal in 2014.
By merely playing in Rome next week, he will replace Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings.
Alcaraz’s triumph in Madrid gives him back-to-back victories after winning the Barcelona Open in April, and underlines why he is one of the favorites for the French Open, which begins on May 28.
Murray won his first championship since 2019.
After breaking lucky loser Struff’s serve in the first game of Caja Magica, his opponent rallied back to take away Alcaraz’s lead in the fourth.
However, when Struff held serve, US Open winner Alcaraz won three straight games, saving three break points before converting his first set point.
Struff, the world number 65, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set before saving five break points to go up 4-1.
Despite failing to convert a break point, the 33-year-old went on to serve out the set and force a decider, when Alcaraz found another gear.
He broke to take a 3-1 lead and, although squandering two more break points, never relinquished his lead, serving out the match to love.
Alcaraz, who celebrated his birthday on Friday alongside women’s champion Aryna Sabalenka, has only lost two matches in 2023.