History in the making

Carlos Alcaraz begins to make history in the Grand Slams. The Murcian beat Nikoloz Basilashvili at Roland Garros this Thursday (6-4, 6-2 and 6-4 in 1h: 56) and became, at 18 years and 29 days, the youngest player to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since Rafa Nadal at the 2004 Australian Open. The Spaniard was 17 years, seven months and 19 days old when he qualified with victory against Frenchman Thierry Ascione. Alcaraz is also the youngest to reach this point in the French tournament since Russia’s Andrey Medvedev in 1992 (17 years and nine months). He had already been the precocious to win a match in the Paris major since Novak Djokovic in 2005 (the Serb had just turned 18). He will face German Jan-Lennard Struff on Saturday, who eliminated Argentine Coria (7-5, 7-6 (1) and 6-4).

But above all these data, what most attracted the attention of Alcaraz’s victory was his forcefulness and authority, in three sets against a tough opponent, the 29-year-old and 31st in the world Georgian, who is not a gravel specialist, but a dangerous all-rounder, winner of five titles who was able to beat Roger Federer not too long ago in Doha, where he came out champion, on hard court. And watch out for the Spanish numbers: 27 winning shots, 10 of them from direct service, 78% of points won with first serves and 50% with second. Thus he faced six break balls and saved four. He broke his opponent’s serve six times.

With that ease he has to generate power, Alcaraz controlled the match from start to finish against a Basilashvili surprised by the level of play of the boy, who rarely found a way to exceed it. In fact, he broke a racket and ended up literally dizzy, it is not known if from a heat stroke, and he was treated. Carlos perked up with rage in the delicate moments, and showed his increasingly robust right arm, which is now better appreciated live thanks to the tank top that he wears. He had a great time, like the kid he still is. Although the third sleeve culminated it like a veteran, with a counterbreak and closing with his serve. Let’s see who stops him now.

Results, table and calendar.

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