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Roland Garros: Alcaraz, like the greatest: one more march for his last week in Paris

Updated Monday, June 5, 2023 –
01:06

Raise the level, as Nadal did on some of the 14 occasions when he lifted the title. Tsitsipas and, possibly, Djokovic, barriers to the final.

Alcaraz, at one point in his match against Musetti.AFP

Although many of his 14 titles at Roland Garros had an imperial itinerary, in some of his triumphant passages through Paris Rafael Nadal He also knew how to interpret the moment of taking flight, of taking that leap of quality that would allow him to get closer to the goal more quickly. It was like that, without going any further, in the last edition, when he, after specifying five sets in the round of 16 against a great Happy Auger-Also shook himself to Novak Djokovic in quarterfinals with a formidable performance towards a final where he would devastate Casper Ruud. It also happened in 2013, after suffering more than necessary in the first two rounds, against Daniel Brands y Martin Klizanen route to a spectacular semifinal in which he defeated the Serb in five sets before crushing David Ferrer in the end. In 2011 he had a championship scare against John Isner in the first round, having to use the five sets. And the path in 2006 was not entirely easy either: four sets in a tough round of 16 match against Paul Henri-Mathieu and many others a round later in front of Lleyton Hewitt.

Is not that Carlos Alcaraz he would have hesitated excessively in his first three games of this edition in Paris, but a greater exuberance was appreciated in his game in his round of 16 duel against Lorenzo Musetti, who was imposed 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, in two hours and eight minutes. With hardly a rival in his debut in the first round against Flavio Cobollian Italian from the previous one, then left the only set to date against taro daniel112, to stop the lukewarm reaction of Denis Shapovalov, 32, and leave him behind without much history. Alcaraz did what was necessary to save the games without major setbacks, knowing that commitments would come in which he would need to raise the bar.

I have shown a great level in all the games. I have not reserved anything, but it is true that when you go through rounds you have better rivals who demand more of you. It has been by far my best game, s, I have grown, he said in the press conference afterwards.

It is a quality that distinguishes great players, and he has been for a long time. He did it himself in the last and steep US Open, with three consecutive victories at the limit of five sets: Marin Cilic, Jannik Sinnerwith match point saved in the middle, and Frances Tiafoe, before beating Ruud in four sets in the final.

margin of progression

I started a little nervous, but soon recovered the good level and calmed me down to be focused all the time. Perhaps he has lowered his arms a bit. I have played very well, but I know that there is always room for improvement, he added regarding this Sunday’s match.

Musetti, 21 years old, had surpassed him last summer in the final of the ATP 250 in Hamburg, on clay, and together with Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov y Tomas Martin Etcheverry He formed the small group of men who had not given up a single set at this Roland Garros. He is number 18 in the world and has a suggestive future. Alcaraz landed 42 winners, to 17 from his opponent, won 79% of his approaches to the net, compared to his 56, and lavished evenly on drop shots, 23 each. He was the fast, creative and explosive player who landed on the circuit like a bomb in 2022, won the US Open and climbed to the top of the ranking faster than anyone else, which he now occupies again.

This Tuesday he will be in the penultimate round of a major for the fourth time, after doing so in 2021 at the United States Open, when he lost to Auger-Aliassime, last year in Paris, surpassed by Alexander Zverevand again in New York, with a happy ending.

I feel very well physically, tensically and mentally. I know that I set a very high pace, and whoever wants to beat me will have to maintain that level for a long time. The greatest, Rafa, Djokovic and FedererThey are because they have always been able to. And in that I want to be like them.

Waiting for you this Tuesday Stefanos Tsitsipaswhom he has defeated in all four of their meetings.

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2023-06-04 23:06:24
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