Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after beating Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their 2022 ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament singles quarterfinal at Caja Magica in Madrid on Friday. MADRID: Carlos Alcaraz overcame an injury scare on his way to a milestone victory over Rafael Nadal on Friday to set up a blockbuster semi-final against Novak Djokovic in Madrid. Alcaraz entered the contest with a 0-2 record against Nadal, but knew he had his chances given his opponent’s lack of match play. Nadal was out of action for six weeks nursing a rib injury, and arrived to Madrid with little to no preparation on clay. In an eventful quarter-final at the Caja Magica, the 19-year-old Alcaraz defeated 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to post a tour-leading 26th victory of the season. The first three games went against serve and lasted over 20 minutes before Alcaraz finally held for a 3-1 advantage. Nadal mustered just one more game in that set as Alcaraz snatched a commanding lead. In the third game of the second set, Alcaraz took a tumble trying to retrieve a ball and he had a lengthy medical timeout at 1-2 to get his ankle taped. Replays showed Alcaraz had badly rolled his ankle. The seventh seed got broken upon resumption of play as Nadal inched ahead 3-1, but then another interruption came related to someone in the crowd. After a long pause, Nadal held and ran away with the set as Alcaraz looked visibly restricted in his movement. Alcaraz took a toilet break and appeared to move better at the start of the decider, leaping to a 3-1 lead. It was all he needed to complete the win in two hours and 28 minutes and set up an exciting clash with Djokovic. Djokovic reached his seventh Madrid semi-final, easing past Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4 to record a 30th career victory in the Spanish capital. The world number one will face Alcaraz for the first time and heaped praise on the young Spaniard, having spent some time with him practicing earlier this week. Djokovic started his quarter-final with a break and it was all he needed to grab the opening set in 33 minutes. Hurkacz dropped serve in game five of the second set as Djokovic once again took control. The Polish 12th seed saved two match points on his own serve at 5-3, forcing Djokovic to serve out the win. And the 34-year-old Serb had no trouble closing, moving into the final four with an 81-minute success.