Alcaraz continues to regain strength in Madrid

The Spaniard will repeat last year’s final against Struff

April 28, 2024

By Staff

Carlos Alcaraz has a ladder to climb and the steps are prepared in the Magic Box. The current champion took a good step forward this Sunday at the Mutua Madrid Open, where he aspires to become the first player capable of lifting three consecutive trophies. On a day full of sun, with a much greater rhythm of the ball than in previous days, the Spaniard adapted to conditions that he dominates like few others. If the clay allows for a match of increasing pace, the Spaniard’s skill shines with its own brilliance.

The world No. 3 handled an uncertain match with temperance, defeating Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild 6-3, 6-3 to gain speed in the tournament. With the aim of recovering the toughness of his forehand, diminished by the muscle injury suffered before the clay season, Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil gave himself a game of progress. Although it is not yet possible to overwhelm rivals with power, one of the pillars of his game, the current champion began to recover the direct tennis that has taken him to the top.

“Maybe today I was a little nervous to see what it was going to be like. In the end, Thiago hits the ball very hard and I didn’t know how his forearm was going to hold up,” the Spaniard responded during the on-court interview, confirming obvious feelings of improvement in his level of play. “Today was the test for me. of fire, I have not noticed any discomfort. I felt spectacular and I landed some very good forehand shots for me. So, from now on, we are going to go up.”

Above all, the match gave Carlos flashes of his usual dominance. The Spaniard handled his first serve strongly, winning 22 of the 28 open points with that shot; He made the South American retreat with his right, gaining meters with a fundamental blow to qualify for everything; and he never lost his smile in a tournament with serious objectives, where the role of player to beat is inseparable from his shoulders.

“Thiago has a great level, he has incredible shots. He has shown it on many occasions and today too,” acknowledged the Spaniard, who managed to stop the Brazilian’s threat in its tracks except in the final stretch of the match. “I have found myself very comfortable on the court moving, hitting the ball. Afterwards, closing games is never easy. It had been a long time since I felt those nerves on a track. It took me a bit to manage it but in the end I’m happy to have gotten it out and give myself another chance in the next round.”

Now, the Murcian will find a known challenge for the defense of the throne. Alcaraz will play the fourth round of the Mutua Madrid Open against the German Jan-Lennard Struff, repeating the final played a year ago at the Caja Mágica.

“Hopefully it will be like last year’s final. We know the player he is and the level he has. He will come out with great shots and an incredible serve. We are going to have to buckle down and give our 100% if we want to advance to the next round. I think it’s going to be a bit of an uncomfortable game to play, but I’m going to enjoy it and I hope people do too.”


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