Playing against Sebastian Korda at the first change in a tournament, especially when the American had already competed in the first round, is not a dish of good taste not even for the best in the world. Carlos Alcaraz, the eighth favorite in the tournament and 11th in the ranking, who had a record of 18-2 this season with titles in Rio and Miami and semifinals in Indian Wells, suffered it at the Masters 1,000 in Monte Carlo. Monaco stayed in less than 24 hours without the possibility of seeing a cross between Novak Djokovic and the Spanish. The Serbian fell on Tuesday against Alejandro Davidovich and this Wednesday it was the 22-year-old American and 42nd who gave him an upset (7-6 (2), 6-7 (5) and 6-3 in 3h02) to another top seed, who arrived with the band of potential champion and that he had won in the first meeting between the two, last year at the NextGen ATP Finals.
Alcaraz did not have a good day in a rough and ugly game as well as tense and exciting, very grounded. Korda was superior despite not being a specialist. With great calm, he led the baton for almost the entire match conditioned by the wind, which made serving very difficult. In that section, the 18-year-old from Murcia was wrong. “It can’t be, first-second the entire match, not even a first,” he complained after losing the first set in the tiebreaker.
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Difficulties in controlling the service led to 13 breaks, seven for the American, who added 36 winners to Carlos’ 21 and made 59 unforced errors, 11 more than his rival (48). The prodigy from El Palmar, who appealed for patience in the interviews prior to his debut in Monte Carlo, appeared in a prestigious plaza and was unable to show the spectators the best version of himself. “I’m a little disappointed with myself. I had many opportunities to be up and close to winning, but these defeats are sometimes good to live through,” he explained after offering some flashes of quality, but with a dropper against a serious, brave Korda with a attitude that other colleagues would like for themselves who hide their lack of ability behind a disrespectful disregard for clay. “I’m very comfortable. I grew up with the green earth in Florida and I saw a bit of the red when we traveled to Prague. I know how to play,” he revealed.
However, Alcaraz had the victory in his hand after winning the second set in the tie-break and starting the third 2-0. When he seemed to be better than Sebastian, he left a serve and the gasoline escaped through a crack in the engine. Charly, who will compete next week in Barcelona, misses a good opportunity, but… “I can do everything. He’s fast, he has a great serve, a great forehand, a great backhand, he volleys well. He is very strong mentally and physically. It will be very difficult to beat him in the future. I hope we can play a lot of good tennis against each other”, praises Korda, who is still in Monte Carlo and will see his compatriot today in the round of 16 Taylor Fritz, who won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 against Croatian Marin Cilic.
Results of the Masters 1,000 of Montecarlo.