Carlos Alcaraz showed this Monday in Indian Wells that he is no longer the future of Spanish tennis, but rather the present. He had previously beaten four tennis players from the Navy (Ramos, Feliciano, Zapata and Munar) and was able to win a fifth, on this occasion of fame and great career: Roberto Bautistawinner of 10 titles, semifinalist at Wimbledon and quarterfinalist in Australia, champion of the Davis Cup and former top-10. Even when it comes to beating illustrious compatriots early, he resembles Rafa Nadal. The 18-year-old from Murciaand imposed with insulting authority the 33-year-old from Castellón (6-2 and 6-0 in 66 minutes) and He will face Monfils on Wednesday in the round of 16, who surprised number one, Medvedev (4-6, 6-4, 6-1). It will be his first confrontation against the eccentric French player, 35 years old and 28th in the ranking.
Carlos equals his best result in a Masters 1,000 (he also reached the fourth round in Paris-Bercy) and has chained eight victories with the Rio title in a balance of 10-1 so far this year. Only Matteo Berrettini has beaten him and he did so in the fifth set tiebreak of their third round match at the Australian Open. Impressive.
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Alcaraz’s superiority in the first set was tremendous. He broke Bautista’s serve from the start and did it again in the fifth game with an absolute effectiveness (2/2). He only had to defend one break point which he saved at 2-0. He lost two first serve goals (14/16) and had 16 winners and four unforced errors (he finished with 30 and nine). With those numbers it was an impossible wall to climb for his rival, who could not make better use of his famous consistency.
It seemed difficult for Charly to do even better. But he got it and that destroyed Roberto, who was with a devastating 5-0 against and could not avoid the donut. The boy fried him with drops, he handled himself with power when it was necessary both for drive and backhand, he showed some masterful stroke and he did not have a single mistake beyond a couple of double faults that had no consequences. It was a bit sad to see Bautista so despondent before the downpour that fell on him and, surely, he did not deserve it. Although the reality is that Alcaraz, who applauded his countryman when he left the court with his head down, is already better than most of the opponents he faces and has beaten top-10 tennis players four times. It is very difficult to stop him when he goes into a trance and he has exemplary discipline. All this at 18 years old. Imagine what this prodigy can do in the future.
Indian Wells Masters 1,000 results.