Carlos Alcaraz clears all doubts with a sweeping start to 2024 Madrid Open

Friday, 26 April 2024 at 17:40
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Carlos Alcaraz arrived at the Madrid Open 2024 with question marks due to physical problems in his right forearm, which prevented him from participating in the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 and the Barcelona Open, where he was defending his title and had to drop 500 points in the ATP ranking.
He made his tournament debut in the second round, as he had a bye in the first round for being the second seed. He faced Aleksandr Shevchenko, number 59 in the world, who had just eliminated Arthur Rinderknech by 6-4, 5-7 and 6-3. And he managed to beat him without complications, 6-2, 6-1.
Alcaraz took the court with a tape on his right arm, protecting the damaged area. It was seen from the beginning that it affected his forehand, the ball ran less than what we are used to. However, he showed other weapons. He was brilliant with his backhand, he went more to the net than he usually does on clay and he was untreatable with his volley.
The first set was a real walkover. He started breaking Shevchenko's serve from the first game. Until 4-1, he had no complications. In that sixth game of the match, he tried to vary, missing two drop shots that conditioned him and made him lose the game. But he was so concentrated and focused that he had no problem to return the double break instantly and close the set with his serve.
He attacked well the Kazakh's second serve and left us with an impressive statistic, he hit 15 winners (seven with the forehand, seven with the backhand and an ace), for ZERO of his rival. Shevchenko could not hit a single winner in the whole first set.
The second set was a carbon copy of the first. Alcaraz started by snatching Shevchenko's serve and getting a double break immediately. The only moment of lack of concentration for the Spaniard was at 3-0 and 30-0, serving himself, who made four consecutive errors and lost one of the two breaks he had acquired.
He made up for it instantly, though, winning back the Kazakh's serve. Finally, he didn't even let Shevchenko take one more game. When it looked like he could force Alcaraz to take the match, the world No. 2 squeezed through, winning the last four points in a row and moving on to the next round.
In the third round he will face Thiago Seyboth Wild, a complicated player on clay, who comes from winning by 6-4 and 6-4 his first two matches, both in the first round against Roman Safiulin, and in the second round against Lorenzo Musetti, who is still not at his best level. The match will take place next Sunday, April 28.

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