Carlos Alcaraz (18) has already recorded his name among the winners of the traditional Count of Godó. And he has done it after a brilliant tournament in which he has won the hearts of the Barcelona spectators. The Murcian is pure spectacle, as he showed in the quarter-final match against Stéfanos Tsitsipas or in the semi-finals against Alex de Miñaur, when he saved two match points and finished off his opponent’s knee on the clay. In the final against Pablo Carreño from Asturias, another version of Alcaraz was seen (6-3 and 6-2), the most mature, the one that made him the successor to Rafa Nadal… At least at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Alcaraz ascends to his throne, and he does so after overcoming tougher rivals, the rain and pressure that he carries in his backpack but that channels adrenaline. Alcaraz is pure passion.
That hunch led him to temper his nerves in the final. Carreño (30 years old, 19 in the world) arrived with more rest. His semifinal match against the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman had barely lasted 1 hour and 39 minutes, two hours less than that of the Murcian, who had been on the ropes, demanded to the maximum against the Australian De Miñaur. But he overcame it, left the track at 2:45 p.m., ate, rested and just three hours later he was on his way again to dueling with the Spaniard. An unprecedented duel between two of the best Spanish tennis players on the circuit.
Until 2-2, both Carreño and Alcaraz had successfully won their serves in the first set. With a good first serve and hard, deep shots with an advantage, they managed to force their opponent’s mistakes. Far from risking with each blow, Alcaraz lowered his revolutions and tried to economize on blows, looking for Carreño’s backhand and outlining himself to hit from the right. A strategy that worked for him to break (3-2) and to maintain the advantage until he was 5-3 thanks to an ace. Out of the game, Carreño gave away the ninth game. First sleeve for Alcaraz.
From the jumps of joy to the hug with Ferrero
History repeated itself in the second set. Carreño, a survivor, did not throw in the towel, he continued looking for a downturn for an Alcaraz who did not hesitate. With 3-2, again, the Murcian was able to break his serve and then he did not fail with his serve. He clenched his fist, looked at his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, and placed 5-2. Barely an hour into the game and the number 9 in the world since Monday was about to subtract to win the game. “Alcaraz always gives an extra in the finals, he never leaves anything out,” said Ferrero.
The final was lopsided. Alcaraz had 88% of points after his first serve while Carreño had not been able to make a break. Already delivered, without feeling on the track before a rock, Alcaraz got 0-40. Epic was not necessary. In just one hour and five minutes, the Murcian’s smile, his jumps of joy and his hug from Ferrero were the last image of the king of Godó, of the tennis player who has risen to Nadal’s throne and who continues to take giant steps towards his first Grand Slam. He has already accumulated four titles: Masters 1000 in Miami, Masters 500 in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona, and the one in Umag (Croatia).