When last September, at the US Open, Carlos Alcaraz beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round, he planted a seed in the United States that wants to flourish now. The public went crazy with him, with his precocious genius: Neither Nadal nor Djokovic nor Federer had managed to beat a top-5 in a Grand Slam with little more than 18 years. Unforgettable for both parties. Memories, very recent, that further elevate the promising path of the Spanish prodigy in the current edition of Indian Wells, which he has reached 19th in the world (he is already 18th virtually) and with his first ATP 500, in Rio, under his arm. “Yeah, I feel like I get recognized a little bit more when I travel the world. Especially here, because of his performance at the US Open. But yes, little by little I’m growing and it’s great“, recognized Alcaraz after his exhibition before his compatriot and friend Bautista.
Again, the so-called country of opportunities vibrated with him. With practically perfect tennis, as they show the 15 winners with only one unforced error in the first round and, of course, the 6-0 in the second. “The first set against Tsitsipas I played very, very well, as well as the match against Berrettini. I played at a high level, but not as completely as today,” admitted Alcaraz himself. The talent of El Palmar already left great sensations in her debut at the Masters 1000, with a double 6-3 to Makenzie McDonald, and, now, she is already looking at the round of 16, where you can beat your best record in tournaments of the mentioned category. It was the step he reached in Paris-Bercy, in November, when he fell to Hugo Gaston. This time, he will have to beat Gael Monfils, 28 in the world.
A little cheat and a maturity test. The normal thing, or what the bets dictated, was that Daniil Medvedev was the (great) wall to overcome, but Monfils, who at 35 already knows them all and steps on the courts to enjoy them, surprised the Serbian tennis player, lowering him, at the same time, from number one. The third victory of the French player against a ranking leader in a career in which he has reached sixth position (2016) and in which he has accumulated 11 ATP titles. His usual self-confidence for jokes and the show was not lacking, something that, at certain moments, disconcerted Medvedev, changing his faces, and that Alcaraz will have to control. He knows: “Gael is playing very, very well. He’s a tough player. He has good speed, runs a lot and hits hard. It’s going to be a very tough and fun game… a fun game too”, he admitted to the press with a smile. The one that Indian Wells, and the world, are watching with enthusiasm.