Carlos Alcaraz won this monday 2-1 to James Munar and advanced to eighth finel of the Rio de Janeiro Open, the only ATP 500 tournament in South America, and avenged the defeat he suffered last year against the same rival in semifinals of the ATP 250 in Marbella.
Alcaraz, a tennis player who is considered by some like him Rafael Nadal’s successorachieved an impressive comeback in Rio de Janeiro after having lost in the first set, by winning the next two and winning with sets of 2-6, 6-2 and 6-1, in an intense match two hours and 15 minutes.
The young tennis player from Murcia, 18 years old and 29 in the ATP world ranking, fulfilled his promise to “do great things” in Rio de Janeiro by eliminating the Majorcan (89 ATP), 24 years old and who in April of last year, in the only confrontation between the two until yesterday, prevented him from reach the final of the ATP 250 of Marbella.
Alcaraz, that two years ago played the Rio Open thanks to a special invitation for his status as a promise and got his first victory in an ATP tournament in this Brazilian city, advanced to the round of 16 instance in which will measure the winner of the duel between the Argentine Frederic Delbonis (37 ATP) and the Colombian Daniel Galan (112 ATP). In case of advancing in the round of 16, the youth team will be able to face the Italian in the quarterfinals Matteo Berretinisixth best tennis player in the world and first favorite in Rio.
Spanish only won last year his first title ATP250, the of Umagbut he is the youngest to break into the top 40 of the world rankings since Rafael Nadal did so in 2004.
Alcaraz started strong total in the first set and, after quickly confirming his first serve taking advantage of two errors by Munar, he broke the rival’s first serve and opened a 2-0 lead in just twelve minutes. But Majorcan reacted and, in an impressive comeback and taking advantage of the Murcian’s consecutive errors, he broke the three following services of the juvenile and confirmed the three of his for win the first set 6-2 in 45 minutes.
Alcaraz had great difficulty confirming his first two serves in the second set but did so base plus strength Y of speed than technique, and that strategy also served to break Munar’s second serve and take a 4-1 lead. With confidence regained and in a comeback even more impressive, the young revelation broke his opponent’s last serve, taking the second set for the same 6-2 and forced the tiebreaker set.
The one from Murcia maintained andthe same level in the third heat and quickly broke Munar’s first two serves to get ahead by 5-0 and he only had to confirm his game to win the game by 6-1 and the match 2-1.
Alcaraz plans dispute equally in Brazil the tournament double forming a couple with the Asturian Pablo Carrenohis friend and training partner at the Equelite JC Ferrero Sport Academy in Villena.
“I think now I can win the tournament”
Carlos Alcaraz appeared at a press conference after the intense match against Munar to analyze the match and his pass to the round of 16 of the Rio Open.
Great effort. “Jaume had been playing at a high level and we shouldn’t underestimate him. It cost me a lot. Despite the result and having won the last two sets 6-2 and 6-1, he meant a lot to me”
Reaction capacity. “I think I have been very well mentally to overcome the adversity of the first set, of losing six games in a row. Yes, it is true that I had not played on clay for a long time, it has cost me a little, but I am happy with the way I did it I have faced, because of the way I have finished playing and I hope to be able to give the same level in the next round”.
Concentration and calm. “I was very out of control but I have been able to calm down, I have been able to think point by point, I have been able to think that there was still a lot left and I think that has been the key: calm down and try to think point by point and try to come back from the game and then we would see… And I think thanks to that comeback I managed to calm down and play well.”
Possibilities in Rio. “I think I’m more consolidated on the circuit. The other players already know me, they know my level, and I think now I’m a player who can win the tournament. I feel very good. I’m playing quite well and I think that if I continue having this level and this ability to be calm, I can do great things in the tournament”,
Public support. “The truth is that I did not expect it. I did not expect that so many people would be with me cheering me on from the first moment. The truth is that I have felt very protected, I have felt at home and it is very difficult to find that feeling when you are so far away from home. I think that a large part of being able to come back has also been thanks to the public that has been cheering me on, that has trusted me from the first moment”.