Satisfied. It is how one stays when liquidating his first opponent in just one hour of the game. In Cincinnati, where the clouds threaten to break a week of suffocation under the sun, Carlos Alcaraz saw, played and fulfilled this Wednesday morning against the American Mackenzie McDonald, number 71 in the world. The Murcian, faster, more technical and more precise than his opponent, did not have too many problems to prevail on the fast track (6-3 and 6-2) and return to the path of victory after the debacle in Montreal, where, for For the first time, he publicly acknowledged cracks in his confidence.
“I am very happy with my performance. One of the goals in this tournament is to grow under pressure, to enjoy again like I did at the beginning of this year and at the end of last year”, he said after the match.
Shortly before, still on the track, Alcaraz had forced McDonald’s umpteenth error with a right to the line whose reply was in the net. It was the final point. Victory, clenched fist and scream of rage. From the stands, emptier than usual to see one of the great favorites, Juan Carlos Ferrero repeated the gesture. It wasn’t just another game.
Immersed in a strange trance, Charlie Brown, as he likes to be called, was eager to get back on track with victory: “I tried to be focused on every point and be aggressive, as I usually do. It was an important game for me.”
With this, Alcaraz adds 42 wins in 2022 —and only eight losses—, more than any other tennis player in the ATP. What better way to ward off a crisis, some will think. What crisis are you talking about, others will start. The reality is that, after falling in Montreal at the first change, where he was overtaken by Tommy Paul, number 31 in the world, the Murcian was blunt: “It was the first time in my career that I have not been able to withstand the pressure . I have to learn to manage it.”
Now, with the ghosts of Canada chased away, at least for now, the young tennis player from El Palmar advances to the round of 16 in Ohio (United States), where he will face the Croatian Marin Cilic, a wall of almost two meters that already he tasted glory in Cincinnati in 2016.
In case of continuing to overcome opponents, Alcaraz would face Rafael Nadal in a hypothetical semifinal, who debuts this morning against the Croatian Borna Coric, an unpredictable talent who already beat him in Cincinnati, in 2016, and with whom the Balearic maintains a tie in direct duels: 2-2.
While the moment arrives, the Murcian is calm. “There’s no rush,” he says with a look. Step by Step. Calm. “I want to enjoy playing tennis and for that I have to be relaxed. I think I did it today and I’m very happy about it, ”he said at a press conference, with a sincere smile, after the premiere against McDonald.
the spaniards fall
Alcaraz was the only Spaniard who won the premiere in Cincinnati. Pablo Carreño, recent winner of the Masters 1000 in Montreal, Canada, and brand new number 14 in the world, retired before the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic; Albert Ramos fell to the Italian Fabio Fognini and Alejandro Davidovich could not beat Nick Kyrgios. The number one in the world, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, got rid, although not without complications, of the Dutch BoticvandeZandschulp (6-4 and 7-5). Rafa Nadal, second seeded, debuts this morning against Borna Coric.
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Source: EL PAIS