Tennis. Madrid: Alcaraz prevails against Struff and goes into the quarters

 

Alcaraz in the quarterfinals on the ropes

World No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz, returning from injury at the Masters 1000 in Madrid where he is a two-time title holder, narrowly advanced to the quarter-finals against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff (24E), 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4) Tuesday.

This round of 16 was a repeat of the 2023 final, which had already been won by the young Spaniard.

For a place in the last four of the comeback tournament after a sore right forearm forced him to withdraw from Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, ​​”Carlitos” will face Russian world number eight Andrey Rublev, who defeated Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands (6-2, 6-4).

Right arm protected by a sleeve, as from the start of the Madrid tournament, Alcaraz seemed to have a firm grip on the game as he counted the set and the break in advance (2-0).

But Struff, one of the men in form of the moment, fresh off a title in Munich (Germany), regained his footing by finding a more effective submission, his No. 1 weapon, and destabilizing his young opponent by attacking him with a submission return. , with some success.

Just when we thought the Spaniard, already a two-time Grand Slam winner, had finally made the difference in the third set, he let fly four match points on his serve – including three in a row – 5 games to 3.

Juan Carlos Ferrer’s charge finally escaped in the decider after 2 hours and 52 minutes of the match.

Sinner takes down Khačanov

Jannik Sinner, the world number two and a man in the form of the first part of the season, overthrew the Russian Karen Khačanov (17) on Tuesday.E) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 and also reach the quarter-finals in the Spanish capital.

Just over 18 hours passed between his third-round match the previous evening, which finished shortly before 10pm, and Tuesday afternoon’s round of 16, which began shortly after 4pm.

But Sinner, the No. 1 seed in Madrid in Novak Djokovic’s absence, still found the energy necessary to turn the tide and win in just over two hours.

The winner of the Australian Open thus brings his record for the 2024 season to 28 victories with only two defeats.

Zverev was stopped by Argentina’s Cerundolo

World No. 5 Alexander Zverev was stopped in the round of 16 by Argentine Francisco Cerundolo (22.E), winning 6-3, 6-4 in less than an hour and a half on Tuesday.

Two days earlier in the previous round, Zverev, a two-time champion on the clay of Madrid, stayed up until 12:45 a.m. to complete a third-round match (6-4, 7-5 against Shapovalov).

Cerundolo reached the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 for the fourth time in his career, at the age of 25, after Miami (twice) and Rome.

He is the first Argentine player to reach the quarter-finals in the Spanish capital since Juan Martin del Potro in 2012.

Swiatek loses a set but advances to the final four

World number one Iga Swiatek needed two and a half hours to beat world number 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals, who was eventually ousted 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 on Tuesday.

For a place in the finals, the three-time Roland-Garros winner on the throne of world tennis for the 100th week will face either world number nine Ons Jabeur or the American Madison Keys (20.E), opposite in the evening.

Until the quarterfinals, Swiatek met almost no resistance from her first three opponents (Wang Xiyu, Cirstea and Sorribes): she let a total of nine games slip.

Against Haddad Maia, an opponent who pushed her to the limits of her abilities last year at Roland-Garros, the 22-year-old Poláková did not experience the same calmness. She led 4 games to 1 in the first set and conceded five games in a row, allowing the engaging Brazilian to sink 6-4. But she was able to regain her composure and her game to take control of the game.

In her first tournament on clay in 2024, Swiatek stopped World No. 4 Elena Rybakina in Stuttgart (Germany) about ten days ago in the semifinals. In 2023, she reached the final in the Spanish capital and lost to world number two Aryna Sabalenkova.

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