Madrid Open 2024: Carlos Alcaraz beats Jan-Lennard Struff after marathon repeat of 2023 final

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 at 19:03
Carlos Alcaraz has defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in the round of 16 of the Madrid Open 2024. In a rematch of last year's final at the ATP 1000, the Spaniard has managed to beat the German by a score of 3-6, 7-6(5), 6(4)-7, after suffering a lot due to the high level of his opponent.
In the first set, Alcaraz had his first break point with 0-1 up, but Struff was going to save it without too many complications. The situation was going to be uphill for the player from Murcia, who saw how the German was ahead 15-40 in his second service game. Even so, Carlitos lifted those two break balls and a third with an advantage for Struff to go 1-2 up. Only three games had been played, but the match had already reached the point of high tension.
At 2-3, Carlos Alcaraz was going to be more aggressive until reaching 0-40 with three break opportunities. In the second, the Spaniard finally got the break and went up to 2-4. Although in the next game Jan-Lennard Struff was 0-30, Alcaraz managed to confirm the break to take 2-5 with the victory in the first set very close. In the end, Carlitos closed the first set with his serve despite missing his first two set points, 3-6.
In the second set, Alcaraz took advantage of Struff's mental slump after losing the first set. At the first change, the Spaniard managed to break the German's serve after getting 15-40, and immediately after he certified the break with a 'trademark' drop shot. With 1-2 and serving, Carlitos saved a first break ball, but he would not be able to do the same with the second. Equality returned again to the scoreboard, 2-2.
Jan-Lennard Struff had raised his level considerably, recovering from his bad forehand game. Thus, the second set was going to force Alcaraz to offer a very solid version so that the German could not equalize the match in sets. As a consequence, there was not going to be any more break opportunities, and the second set went to a very tense tie break.
The tie break started with both players losing their respective serves. Alcaraz was able to get 1-2 and get a mini break to rise to 1-3. With Struff winning his next serve, 2-3, the German got a minibreak to tie again 3-3 in the change of side of the court. Alcaraz failed again, and Struff was 4-3 up with two serves. The German won both to have up to three set balls. Although he saved the first two, Struff closed the second set with an ace.
In the third and final set, Alcaraz started with a blank game. With 1-2 up, the player from Murcia managed to break Struff's serve with his second break point and, certifying the break with his serve, he went up to 1-4. The German won his next game on serve to cut the deficit to 2-4. With 3-5 up, Alcaraz served to win the match. The Spaniard missed his first four match points. After that, he saved two break points, but he was not going to be able to do the same with a third one. Surprisingly, the set went to 4-5 with Struff serving.
After the German managed to certify a crucial break, the set was tied again at 5-5. Struff had come up a lot, and got a break ball after getting 30-40. However, Carlitos would show a very strong mentality, and managed to turn the situation around to make it 5-6. Struff sent the decisive set to a tie break.
In the tie break, Alcaraz started winning his serve, 0-1. Then, he got a mini break with a brutal passing, 0-2, and another one to get 0-3. Struff got two mini breaks in a row, 2-3. With his two points on serve, Struff was 4-3. Alcaraz hit a great backhand to make it 4-4, and also won his next serve, 4-5. With a mini break, Alcaraz made it 4-6 and had two match balls. With the first one, the Spaniard got it.
In the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, Carlos Alcaraz will face Andrey Rublev, who comes from beating Tallon Griekspoor without much trouble by 6-2, 6-4. The Spaniard and the Russian will face each other in a great match for a place in the semifinals.

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