Carlos Alcaraz assaults Miami

Carlos Alcaraz, who at 18 is still sailing through the ‘first times’ era, will play this Sunday (7:00 p.m., Movistar Deportes) in the final of the Miami Masters 1,000 against norwegian Casper Ruud (23 years old and 8th in the world). The first of a tournament of this category, that of the step prior to the Grand Slamsin an ATP circuit in which he already premiered his locker last year in a 250 (Umag) and in February in a 500 (Rio de Janeiro).

Quickly, quickly, burning stages at a devilish speed, the one from El Palmar liquidated in the semifinals the current champion, the Polish Hubert Hurkacz (10th), by 7-6 (5) and 7-6 (2) to drop his record this year to 17-2. He has only lost in the Indian Wells semi-final against Rafa Nadal in a memorable battle and against Matteo Berrettini (another top-ten) in Australia. And the Italian took him to a fifth set.

“This guy is no joke, he’s an animal,” former number one Andy Roddick describes him in amazement. ‘The Real Deal’ (something like ‘The Authentic’) baptizes him Patrick McEnroe, John’s brother and now a commentator. The same alias with which Evander Holyfield entered the ring… Real are the swords that Alcaraz unleashes at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, hard rock combined with virtuoso touches of the racket (see his volleys or his lobs) with which aspires to become the first Spaniard to win the title there. Arantxa Sánchez Vicario did triumph in the women’s box (1992 and 1993). But Sergi Bruguera (1997), Carlos Moyá (2003, David Ferrer (2013) and Rafa Nadal (2005, 08, 11, 14 and 17) were left at the gates.


Only Ruud, a tennis player who came from the cold but armed at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor, separates the Murcian from become the youngest champion in the history of the tournament (18 years and 333 days). He would also be the third youngest champion of a Masters 1,000 after Michael Chang (Toronto 1990, 18 years and 157 days) and Nadal (Montecarlo 2005, 18 and 318). He is already the third player in the race to the Masters and will be second if he lifts the trophy of a tournament in which he started 16th in the world, he is already 12th and will finish 11th if he is crowned. A cannibal that devours stages without brake with “head, heart and balls”, the recipe for ‘the three C’s’ that his grandfather gave him and has been engraved on fire.

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