World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz has left the tennis world in awe after winning an absurd point against Felix Auger-Aliassime in his Indian Wells quarter-final victory. Alcaraz defeated Auger-Aliassime in two hours with a 6-4, 6-4 victory, however the win was anything but straightforward.
The Canadian got the best out of the Spaniard who had never defeated Auger-Aliassime in their previous three meetings. And the tennis world was left in awe in just the fifth game of the set when Alcaraz was forced to produce some of his best defensive tennis to break.
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The Spaniard was forced to the back of the court, as Auger-Aliassime pushed him from side-to-side, when he was able to lob the Canadian at full-stretch. Auger-Aliassime ran back and blasted the ball right at Alcaraz who approached the net.
The Spaniard then masterfully controlled two volleys at his body to win a miraculous point. Alcaraz hyped up the crowd to build momentum as they stood to applause the 19-year-old's brilliance.
Alcaraz was able to break the Canadian and take the first set. The match was littered with incredible rallies with both players forced to play their best tennis.
The win marked the first time Alcaraz had defeated Auger-Aliassime on the ATP Tour and it was his first win against a Top 10 player since the US Open last year. Alcaraz took his game to the next level at Indian Wells and he will need to in order to reclaim the World No.1 ranking off Novak Djokovic.
Fans were quick to praise the remarkable tennis played by Alcaraz in the high-octane quarter-final. Many were in awe of his defensive capabilities.
Have we ever seen Carlos Alcaraz and The Flash in the same room together pic.twitter.com/iNUA5p0Knt
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) March 17, 2023
Mind blown 😅🔥
— Ankit Singh (@ankit_singh11) March 17, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz has beaten Felix Auger-Aliassime for the first time in his career.
6-4, 6-4. Felix played well. He really did. That’s what we’re looking at.
Alcaraz will now face his old, dare-I-say ‘rival’ Jannik Sinner, who was excellent in ending the reign of Taylor Fritz.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) March 17, 2023
Important win for Alcaraz:
-- 1st win over Auger-Aliassime (the only player on tour to beat him in their first three meetings)
-- 1st top 10 win since the US Open final (now 13-9 vs. top 10 players)
-- Best level of tennis of the year (by far)
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 17, 2023
— Don (@FUTGOLFIBLORD) March 17, 2023
— Stone Labanowitz (@LabanowitzStone) March 17, 2023
After the match, Alcaraz admitted he was forced to play his best tennis to advance to the semi-final where he will play Jannik Sinner. "My goal today was to stay in it, and I played probably one of my best matches this season, so I'm really happy," 19-year-old Spaniard said.
"He has a great first serve, and this is the first time I broke his serve, so I'm happy with that. I'm looking forward to playing Sinner again, we've had some great battles."
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz set-up showdown
In the other quarter-final, Italy's Sinner defeated defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to set-up showdown with Alcaraz.
Sinner came out of the blocks firing and played some aggressive tennis that put Fritz on the backfoot. No.4 seed Fritz responded in the second, breaking Sinner on set point with a backhand winner that brought the crowd to their feet.
An exchange of breaks kicked off the third and Fritz smacked a forehand winner for a 4-3 lead, but 11th seed Sinner took control from there. He levelled at 4-4 with an athletic overhead, broke for a 5-4 advantage and blasted a serve Fritz could not handle on match point, the American's backhanded return sailing long to end the engrossing contest in the Southern California desert.
"I just tried to play quite aggressively, which I've done," said Sinner, who booked his first semi-final at the Masters 1000 tournament. "I'm obviously very happy about the performance. Playing against Taylor is never easy. I lost against him two years ago here. He loves the conditions here so I'm very happy that I found a way today."
Sinner and Alcaraz played one of the best matches in 2022 during their US Open quarter-final blockbuster that went for five gruelling sets.
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