Queen's: Carlos Alcaraz shines in his debut and overcomes the challenge of Francisco Cerúndolo

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 at 17:30
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The first round of the Queen's Club Championships was a complicated challenge for Carlos Alcaraz in his title defense.
Against Francisco Cerúndolo, and despite a very comfortable first set, the Spaniard was going to suffer a lot to get ahead in a match that he won 6-1, 7-5.
In the first set, Carlitos started the match in the best possible way with his serve: with an empty game. Then, he was 15-40 on Cerúndolo's first serve with two break balls. Although the Argentinean would manage to save both of them, the Spaniard would get a third one that this time he would not waste to take a 2-0 lead.
Alcaraz had entered the match on fire, and as a result, after certifying with his serve the previous break that put him 3-0 up, he achieved another consecutive break in his second opportunity after getting 0-40. In just 18 minutes of the match, Carlitos had managed to get 5-0 up after winning his next service game also very easily.
At 5-0 he would have a first set ball on Francisco Cerúndolo's serve to take the set with a donut. However, the Argentinean would manage to save it to prolong a little more his suffering in the set. But it was not going to last much longer, because with his serve Carlos Alcaraz was quickly 40-15 with two set balls. The first one he missed, but the second one he managed to take the set by a resounding 6-1 result, and send the match to the second set with his rival very mentally affected.
In the second set, things were going to have to change a lot if Cerúndolo wanted to turn the match around. Alcaraz was playing at a very high level of tennis. However, the Argentine was to find his chance. After taking the 0-1 lead, Cerúndolo managed to break Carlitos' serve and take the lead to 0-2. With a game in white, he certified the break and went 0-3.
Alcaraz managed to win his first game of the set to cut it to 1-3, but Cerúndolo did not want to waste this advantage and put the 1-4 without suffering too much. Carlitos began to run out of opportunities to turn this disadvantage if he did not want the match to go to the third set. Despite doing his homework with his next service game, the Argentine was still unbeatable with their respective serves and was placed 2-5 without having given a single break opportunity to Alcaraz throughout the second set.
The Spaniard made it 3-5 and was facing his last chance to try to break his opponent's serve. In an umpteenth sample of the incredible resilience of Carlitos, and after getting 15-40 on Cerúndolo's serve, with his first break ball he was going to get the break and put the 4-5 with the possibility of tying on the scoreboard. The Argentinean was not going to give up, and would have up to three set balls! on Alcaraz's serve. After much suffering, the Spaniard lifted all of them and made it 5-5 with a completely new scenario from now on.
The previous game would leave a very affected Francisco Cerúndolo that would allow Carlos Alcaraz to get 15-40 up with two break balls to achieve a break that would be decisive. At the first opportunity, Carlitos got the break to get 6-5 up, and serving with the possibility of winning the match with his serve. In the end he was able to do so and, with 7-5 in the second set, the Spaniard advanced to the second round of Queen's where he will face the winner of the match between Jack Draper and Mariano Navone.

Defending champ Carlos Alcaraz comes back from 2-5 down and three set points to beat Eastbourne champ Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 7-5 and reach the last 16 at the Queen’s Club. 8 consecutive wins 6 consecutive wins in this event 13 consecutive wins on grass 🔥


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