UMAG, Croatia. Top seeded Carlos Alcaras edged out Norbert Gombos 6-2, 6-3 to begin the defense of his first ATP title at the Croatia Open on Thursday.

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The 19-year-old Spaniard became the second-youngest player this century to reach the top five in the rankings announced on Monday. Only Rafael Nadal has done it at a younger age since 2000.

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Fifth-placed Alcaraz, who lost last week’s European Open final in Hamburg to Lorenzo Musetti, broke Gombo four times while maintaining all seven break points he faced.

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Alcaraz is tied with Nadal for the most ATP titles this year with four.

In the quarterfinals, he will face Facundo Bagnes. The Argentine beat the Frenchman Corentin Mute with a score of 6:3, 6:1.

Franco Agamenone edged out No. 4 seed Sebastian Baez 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 for his second ATP main draw win, while Italian colleague Marco Cecchinato upset No. 8 seed Musetti 6-4, 6-3.