Carlos Alcaraz, took his second Masters
Carlos Alcaraz, 19, took his second Masters in his short career. After Miami, the Spaniard topped in Madrid as well. The heir to the King of the Ground Rafael Nadal defeated last year’s champion Alexander Zverev in the deciding match.
The big surprise of the Masters was 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz who first beat King of the Grounds Rafael Nadal in 1/4-final and then crushed world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in 1/2-final. Carlos was only the 12th player in history to defeat both Novak and Rafa in a single tournament, becoming the 4th player to defeat the pair in two consecutive rounds and the first in the world to do so on the dirt.
So Alcaraz advanced to his second Masters final since Miami. He faced reigning champion Alexander Zverev in the decisive match. The German with Russian roots beat Felix Auger-Allassim (No. 8) and Stephanos Tsitsipas (No. 4). Zverev said the latter is the best on-court player at the moment: “Rafa is coming back, Novak is getting better, but I think right now Stefanos Tsitsipas is the best on-court player in the world. I’ll have to show my best to have a chance. But I’m looking forward to the match because in Monte Carlo he beat me quite easily. I hope I can change that.”
Zverev and Alcaraz have played each other twice before and both times Alexander was stronger in Acapulco and Vienna 2021. Despite the positive difference in head-to-head encounters, Zverev gave credit to the Spaniard: “Nothing he did this week surprises me because I knew how good he was. Last year after the match in Acapulco, I predicted he would be in the top 10 in 2023, but he improved my bet. There’s nothing to add, his game is impressive, at 19 years old he already looks like a big player, there are no limitations for him.”
Despite the unpleasant burden of two defeats from Zverev in previous matches, the Spaniard came into the final bout as charged for the fight as possible. He was the first to get to the break point in the fourth game. True, Alexander turned away this threat. However, after that Carlos achieved his goal – he took the service of another player, led 4:2 and saved this advantage till the end of the game – 6:3 for 33 minutes. It should be noted that as well as in his matches with Nadal and Djokovic, the Spaniard brilliantly used shortcuts, deep spikes and often ended his serve with a skillful hit. Alcaraz dominated his second game, surrendering only the opening game. The German player totally crushed his opponent 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour and 4 minutes.
So 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz defeated the top three seeds at the tournament – Djokovic (1), Zverev (2), Nadal (3) – and won his 2nd Masters title. Given his last ATP-500 championship in Barcelona, the young Spaniard improved his winning streak to 10 matches. In addition, Carlos has 11 wins against top-10 tennis players in his career, including eight in the 2022 season. That’s his best record to date on the tour. On Monday, Carlos will jump three steps back in the ATP rankings and become the sixth-ranked player in the world for the first time.