Alcaraz, a premiere of ups and downs

Carlos Alcaraz has started the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell like a slide. All the spotlights shine on him since his meteoric 2022 in which he has lost only three of the 21 games played and since Rafa Nadal’s loss in his tournament par excellence. A throne to which the Murcian aspires, played a bizarre match against the Korean Soon Woo Kwon, number 71 in the worldwhich took Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil to the third set (1-6, 6-2 and 2-6) and required him to recover a better version.

It was going to be a smooth training session for Alcaraz, who was very solvent with his serve and dominated in the first set (1-6). He went 0-5 in less than 23 minutes. The wind spoiled the game, but Alcaraz was aggressive with the right and the Korean made many unforced errorsso the script for the first set was already written and the match seemed to be placid for the 18-year-old tennis player, who had just lost the first round of Monte Carlo against Korda.

The second set started the same way. A 0-2 lead that was broken by Kwon’s first break in game four, when the Korean led 2-2. From there, the game changed. It was uphill for Alcaraz, demanded by the rival, who started throwing missiles with his right hand, throwing drop shots and growing on the court. The Murcian left the game, with shots far from the lines, precipitated in his game while he saw that the scoreboard was going against him. With a run of 6-0, the Korean prevailed 6-2. The third set was served.

RCTB central track.


RCTB central track.

A timely reaction and Munar as the next rival

The stands of the Real Club de Tenis de Barcelona were practically full. From “let’s go Rafa” they went on to “let’s go Carlos”, especially in decisive moments like those of this third set. Alcaraz recovered his pulse and went 0-2, but Kwon won with an excellent serve game (1-2). It was not going to be easy for the Murcian, who won his serve with good serves and defensive shots (1-3), and then behaved solidly against the rest, which helped him to get 1-4. The match was downhill again, the player from Murcia had regained his feeling with the game and left the match already sentenced with 1-5.

After clearing the nerves, Alcaraz met again to close a game full of ups and downs, but that helped him move forward after the setbacks in Monte Carlo and that he resolved with 2-6 in the third set and in one hour and 33 minutes in total. In the next round, his rival will be the 24-year-old Balearic and number 101 in the Jaume Munar ranking. El Godó advances with Alcaraz as a claim.

“Perhaps he has felt the pressure to do well. He has played to hit him and it has been difficult for me to enter that game, it has taken its toll on me. I am not yet aware of what my name generates, although seeing the atmosphere today in my debut”commented the player at the foot of the track once the match was over.

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