The German Jan-Lennard Struff, 65th in the world and lucky loser, qualified for his first Masters 1000 final by taking his revenge 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Friday in Madrid on the Russian Aslan Karatsev (121st ), who had beaten him in qualifying for the Spanish tournament.

In the second round of qualifying, Karatsev had won 6-4, 6-2 on April 25, without being confronted with the slightest break point. Struff emerged victorious this time after almost 2h20 min of combat. In the final, he will challenge the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, world number 2 and defending champion.

Struff, who beat world No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 6-3 in the quarter-finals, is having a crazy fortnight in the Spanish capital. He who had disappeared from the top 100 last June after a right foot injury will jump, at 33, to the best ranking of his career on Monday, at least 28th.

Beaten in qualifying, he finally joined the main draw thanks to a late withdrawal. The 30-year-old German has only played one final in his career so far, in Munich in 2021 (lost to Basilashvili). For Karatsev (28), a surprise semi-finalist at the 2012 Australian Open who fell outside the top 100, being invited to the last four will allow him to get back to the gates of the top 50.