Carlos Alcaraz lined up a storybook semi-final at the French Open as the top seed overcame a late lapse to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (5) on Tuesday to next face Novak Djokovic.

The upcoming clash of the tennis generations – 16 years separate the 20-year-old Spaniard from 22-time Grand Slam-winning Djokovic – could well affect the ATP ranking order as the No. 1 and No. 3 meet for the second time.

“I’m really looking forward to playing Djokovic and won’t stop thinking  about that in the next few days,” Alcaraz said.

“I always say that to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

If the Spaniard wins to reach a second straight final, he retains the top ranking; Djokovic would need to win the title on Sunday to grab the top spot back.

Alcaraz won their previous meeting in Madrid, 2022.

Alcaraz overcame fifth seed Tsitsipas as he won for the fifth time in as many meetings against the Greek whom he beat for the Barcelona trophy two months ago.

Roland Garros Paris French Open 2023 Day10 Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) wins quarter final match and is congratulated by loser Stefanos Tsitsipas
Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Tsitsipas put up a fight as the end neared, saving two match points in the penultimate game before his opponent slammed the door after just under two hours. 

Alcaraz then failed to serve out a 5-3 lead and had to claim a delayed victory in the tiebreaker after two and a quarter hours.

Defending champion Alcaraz is the youngest player to reach back-to-back Paris quarter-finals since Djokovic did it in 2006-2007.

The Spaniard improved to 35-3 this season, with 25 of his wins coming on clay.

Main photo:-Carlos Alcaraz celebrates quarter final win – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd