Carlos Alcaraz is made for the show. That’s why a casual tournament, a bit informal, but with a lot of level, like the NextGen ATP Finals., it suits him like a glove. The 18-year-old from Murcia had a great time at the Allianz Cloud in Milan, a beautiful pavilion with the right size and capacity, to beat the other youngest of the Under-21 Masters, Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune, the same age, 4-3 (6), 4-2 and 4-0. Entrance lead group A, ahead of Brandon Nakashima, who got rid of Argentine Juan Manuel Cerúndolo, but in four sets. On Wednesday (around 3:30 p.m., #Vamos) he will face the American.
– Next Gen ATP Finals (@nextgenfinals) November 9, 2021
With a smile on and after taking a televised nap before the game, Alcaraz, seeded number one, executed a simple game plan, based on powerful serves (some exceeded 220 km / h) and lots of mobility on a hard court with no stunt hallways. The format (games with five rounds, each of which is won by the first one who reaches four games) forces us to be very much alive on the field. There are no second chances, because the advantages in the deuce are canceled, and the coaches can give instructions to the tennis players from one of the sides. There was Juan Carlos Ferrero, with two screens at his disposal to see replays and statistics, speaking from time to time, but without abusing. Charly did not need too many guidelines, because everything came out to order. “I love these conditions, playing fast,” said the boy. In the stands some spectator hallucinated with the power of the blows: “Wow”.
After a disputed first round, which ended in a tiebreaker that was also competed (they had not faced each other until an hour), Alcaraz put the direct and finished what was given in just 75 minutes. Rune, talented but a little less than the Spanish (he has just won a Challenger in Bergamo on Sunday), no longer found a way to hurt him, although he tried to cheer the public, large, who witnessed this duel of the future, to put it in his favor. But they weren’t in Paris and he wasn’t Gaston.
Fun and future
This was all about having fun. So it was. Although we must not forget that up to eight players who were or are in the world top-10 have competed in this event, such as Tsitsipas and Sinner, champions in 2018 and 2019. The Greek won the ATP Finals a year later, as did Medvedev in 2020, another participant in the NextGen ATP Finals.