Lloyd Harris falls like ripe fruit. The willful South African, another of those players who disappeared from the map for a while as a result of injuries, loses pressure like a newly opened bottle of soda. The first gives way to the fifth game break and from there, the duel translates into an exhibition of Carlos Alcaraz’s abilities, who shows off springs in the jump, displacement in the run, wrist in the net and, above all, a supersonic forehand. He wins easily (6-3, 6-1 and 7-6(4), in 2h 28m), shows his jaws and raises the temperature of his tennis heading into the third round, in which he will meet on Saturday with the British Daniel Evans (1-6, 6-1, 6-3 and 6-3 against Botic van de Zandschulp).
“In every match we try to make people enjoy tennis, and I think we did it very well today. I think I played a great game from start to finish. If I have to stick with something, it is the level in the second set,” he says after hitting 33 winners and achieving five breaks. “I believe in myself and the team I have, learning from them is very important, I train 100% every day and that is the key and the only way to reach a high level. You have to put everything in every day. I have reached a great level thanks to that. I have to give credit to my team, without them I wouldn’t be here,” he goes to his bench, filled from top to bottom among technicians, family and friends.
At Arthur Ashe, the smell of fried chicken mixes with the bursts of marijuana that circulate from time to time through the stands, where, as always, there are no traffic guards and while the players rally, everyone comes and goes, comment, shout, sing, dance to get on the video scoreboard or whatever it takes. Does not matter. The point is to have fun, because this is New York for a reason. Another world, another planet in this tennis thing. The refined stands of Roland Garros or Wimbledon would never understand it. Noise and more noise. Music plays and no one bats an eye, the beer is spilled on the cement of the stairs and no one gets upset. And then there’s him, the guy with the tattoos.
“Wow! Oohhh! Phew! Bahhh! He whistles too, comments on the play all the time. And he celebrates, of course: “Come on, Carlitos!”. In his repertoire, however, nothing draws more attention than the personalized t-shirt he has hung on the blue fence. On the chest, the screen print shows Alcaraz in all postures, on striking fluorescent letters. Proud of the garment, he grimaces when he has to remove it because they are going to occupy the front seat, but everything ends in a false alarm. The potential tenant rectifies, so he returns it to the window. Now yes. Forward. He raises eyebrows at the entrance fee that he has paid because Alcaraz, wanting to go, lets down his hair. His drive Flying.
A 20 year old wardrobe
Enjoy the center of the whips, some of them perfect, so violent that it is difficult to follow the trail of the ball. Today there is no one who bursts the ball like the Murcian, who fires devastating blasts and blasts good old Harris, tender, too tender this one (26 years old, 177th in the world) every time he has an option to do damage. Nine are gone. As soon as he discovers a crack, Alcaraz seals it. The Spanish intimidates him. Logical. Those two arms are becoming thicker and more robust, and the muscles are more defined. He is 20 years old, but he is already a closet. Laboratory work has turned the teenage noodle into a twenty-something Swchartzenegger. His body is made of stone. With a clean shot, he resolves.
He breaks it as much as he can and in defense he puts the turbo to reach all the balls. In action, riding, his legs are a spectacle. He has dynamite in his quads. The South African suffers from it and although he fights in the end to see if he scratches something, he does not obtain greater reward than that of a break and that of delaying it until the tiebreaker. Given what has been seen, it is not little. From 4-2 adverse to the sentence, without delays that are not appropriate. Like a shot and spitting fire, also slamming doors, Alcaraz now aims at Evans, whom he has defeated both times they have crossed paths with him: two years ago in Vienna, this year in Barcelona. The harvest in 2023 is more than prolific, in which he has achieved 55 of his 145 victories in the elite. The boy in the t-shirt celebrates it: “Carlitooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”.
You can follow EL PAIS Deportes in Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
Source: EL PAIS