Carlos Alcaraz lights up tennis world in brutal display at Miami Open
The teenage phenom's 'ridiculous' display has turned heads across the tennis world.
World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz has left the tennis world scrambling for superlatives after an extraordinary display in the third round of the Miami Open. Fresh from his title triumph at this month's Indian Wells hardcourt tournament, the Spanish teen kept his title defence alive in Miami, with a 6-0 7-6 (7-5) win over Serbian Dusan Lajovic.
Alcaraz fired off 26 winners to set up a fourth-round meeting with Australian Open semi-finalist Tommy Paul. The 19-year-old remains on track for tennis' "Sunshine Double" and would be considered favourite to triumph in Miami after beating Daniil Medvedev to claim the Indian Wells trophy last week.
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The Spanish teen looked in top condition as he outclassed Lajovic in a dominant opening set, where he didn't allow his Serbian opponent to win a single game. As well as dishing out a bagel for his hapless rival, Alcaraz was serving up plenty of on-court wizardry, including an outrageous whipped forehand pass at 1-1 in the second set.
The Serb was able to provide some tension towards the end of the second set, breaking to make it 5-5 with Alcaraz paying the price for a sloppy return. Alcaraz then went 6-2 up in the tiebreak before allowing Lajovic to win the next three points. A sublime backhand winner from the Spaniard eventually settled the contest.
"Everything was under control," said Alcaraz, who greeted the Miami Heat's six-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler courtside after the match. "But end of match is never easy. The nerves came out. I made a few mistakes that I didn't do around the whole match. So it was tough to win."
God Mode: ACTIVATED 😲@carlosalcaraz @MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/evej5sLjn0
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 26, 2023
Watching Carlos Alcaraz play is realising that you can continually find new ways to exclaim “oh my word” each time you see him do another ridiculous thing. Phenomenal player. #MiamiOpen
— Gareth Cartwright (@GJCartwright) March 26, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz is incredible
— Marvin (@MarvAntMore) March 26, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz man. He’s insane.
— ⚡️- (dead account era) (@tsitsiplswin) March 26, 2023
@carlosalcaraz is truly incredible to watch. Growing up watching the golden era of tennis, I’m thrilled to see what he’s doing at such a young age. Hope to catch him at the @usopen in person since I couldn’t make it to Miami. Excited to see what his future holds! @TennisChannel
— Jonathan Pavlinec (@jpavs17) March 27, 2023
ANOTHER BAGEL FOR CARLOS ALCARAZ!!!
THIS BOY IS ONLY A TEENAGER!!!
— Jason (@Certinfy) March 26, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz still coming to terms with superstar status
With Rafa Nadal injured and the unvaccinated Novak Djokovic barred from entering the United States, Alcaraz is the face of this tournament and the crowd was noticeably bigger on the Hard Rock Stadium court for his game. Alcaraz admitted that dealing with his magnified profile is something he still hasn't gotten used to after his post-match embrace with NBA superstar, Butler.
"I feel great seeing celebrities watching my matches. It's unbelievable. I feel a little bit nervous when I see a person like Jimmy and the celebrities when I was playing in the US Open," he said. "In a certain way, I can't believe that these people enjoy watching my matches. For me, it's crazy."
Alcaraz next faces Paul in the last 16, with the American set to go into the contest on the back of a 12-match winning streak against Spanish players that includes victories over Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal last year. "I lost the first and only match that I played against Tommy. I know that he's a really talented and really tough player, so I have to play at my best and let's see what's going to happen," said Alcaraz.
Earlier, Denmark's Holger Rune sent down seven aces and 27 winners to beat Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-2. The seventh seed's next match is a career-first against American Taylor Fritz, who rolled into the fourth round for the third consecutive year after clinching a 6-4, 6-4 win against Canada's Denis Shapovalov.
In a hard-hitting encounter, with both players trading blows from the baseline, Fritz did not face a break point during the 81-minute victory. "In this next match against Holger (Rune) I would be surprised if I didn't get more chances to attack," Fritz said.
"Nothing to do with him (Rune), because against Emilio (Nava) and Denis (Shapovalov), both these two matches, I have never seen a guy go after it so much and not allow me any options to attack. Hopefully in the next match I will get more chances to be aggressive."
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