Carlos Alcaraz saves a match point and advances to the finals of the Cincinnati Masters 1000

Carlos Alcaraz saves a match point and advances to the finals of the Cincinnati Masters 1000

Carlos Alcaraz is decidedly not playing the economy in this Cincinnati Masters 1000. The number 1 in the world is in the final, but still needed 10:38 in four games. Because after Jordan Thompson, Tommy Paul and Max Purcell, it was Hubert Hurkacz who pushed him to three sentences.

Again Alcaraz struggled to get into the game. When he was present in the game and regularly showed his usual panache, he obviously had trouble interpreting his opponent’s serve. On a fast surface that bounces high, Hurkacz demonstrated the excellence of his engagement (4 aces, 65% of first serves and 75% of points back, 5/5 on break points held). Broken by his first face-off, Alcaraz constantly ran after the score without being able to catch it. Full of confidence, Hurkacz even doubled his break and ended the first set.

However, Alcaraz showed no sign of discouragement. He continued to seek advice from his clan and Juan Carlos Ferrero did what he could to reassure him. Above all, we saw how the Murcian boy kept smiling after every good point (and there were many), whether he won or lost. Down after Hurkacz won a point, Alcaraz kept the banana and the two men checked each other amicably, a testament to the good spirit of the encounter.

And then Alcaraz made Alcaraz. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, he increased his level of play. At first he knew how to keep the ball in the field longer. When he served to equalize when the score was 5:5, he had to save a match point. The alarm had definitely woken him up. He went into the tiebreaker like a bull despite a quick mini-break to come back. He used Hurkacz’s two services at the best moment and completed his engagement. Everywhere Alcaraz yelled the anthology “Vamos”, which must have been heard on the rides at the nearby amusement park.

Hurkacz could blame himself for not taking his chance when it presented itself. Because in the third set he was the one to be broken first and Alcaraz eventually converted a break ball after ten unsuccessful attempts. He maintained his lead and carried it to the end of the set and match. After victories in Indian Wells and Madrid, he will now contest the third Masters 1000 final this year. He meets Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev.


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