An 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz enjoyed a couple of great weeks at the start of the season. The young Spaniard became the youngest ATP 500 champion (since 2009) in Rio de Janeiro, cracked the top-20 and scored his first Davis Cup victory for his country.
Eager for more, Alcaraz advanced to his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Indian Wells after a 7-5, 6-1 triumph over Gael Monfils in an hour and 17 minutes. The youngster served at 70% and dropped seven points behind the initial shot to keep the pressure on the other side.
Carlos fired 22 winners and 16 unforced errors, overpowering Gael in the more advanced rallies after a great display of defensive and attacking strokes. The Spaniard took almost half of the return points and turned them into four breaks, enough to propel himself over the finish line.
Monfils stayed in touch until the opening set’s closing stages. Alcaraz shifted into a higher gear and grabbed nine of the last ten games to become the youngest Indian Wells quarter-finalist.
Carlos Alcaraz reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Indian Wells.
The Spaniard grabbed three straight points in the opener’s third game to create a break chance with a cracking forehand winner.
Gael saved it with a forced error and held with a service winner to avoid an early setback. Carlos locked the result at 2-2 with a booming serve and placed a volley winner in game six for 3-3. Changing the pace with drop shots, Alcaraz earned another break chance in game seven and sprayed it to keep the rival on the positive side.
Serving to stay in the set in game ten, Carlos landed a forehand winner into an open court and sent the pressure back to the other side. Monfils opened a 40-15 lead in the 11th game, but it was not to be for him. Carlos forced his error with a deep return to create a break chance and seized it with a perfect drop shot winner that sent him 6-5 ahead.
Serving for the set, Alcaraz fired a service winner in game 12 to bring it home in 50 minutes and gain a massive boost. The youngster controlled the second set’s opening game pace and grabbed a break with another drop shot winner.
The Spaniard confirmed the lead with a service winner in game two and clinched another break a few minutes later following Monfils’ backhand error. Alcaraz opened a 4-0 gap with a service winner and held at love two games later for 5-1. With nothing working his way, Gael dropped serve again in game seven to propel the young gun into the quarter-final.
Leave a Reply