Tennis: Alcaraz on a wire, Sinner with energy | TV5MONDE

Tennis: Alcaraz on a wire, Sinner with energy | TV5MONDE
Tennis: Alcaraz on a wire, Sinner with energy | TV5MONDE

World No.3 Carlos Alcaraz, who is making his return from injury at the Masters 1000 in Madrid where he is double title holder, narrowly qualified for the quarter-finals against the German Jan-Lennard Struff (24th) , 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4) Tuesday.

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

For a place in the last four of his return tournament, after his painful right forearm forced him to withdraw from Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, ​​”Carlitos” will face world No.8 Andrey Rublev.

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

But Struff, one of the men in form of the moment, recently titled in Munich (Germany), regained his footing by finding a more effective serve, his N.1 weapon, and by destabilizing his young opponent by attacking him in return of serve, with some success.

When we thought that the Spaniard, already a double Grand Slam winner, had definitely made the difference in the third set, he let four match points fly away – including three in a row – on his serve, 5 games to 3.

The protégé of Juan Carlos Ferrero finally escaped in the decisive game after 2h52 of the match.

Alcaraz, whose participation was still uncertain at the start of the week one month before Roland-Garros, had won his first two matches in straight sets, each time in just over an hour.

If he were to triumph on Spanish clay on May 5 – the day he turns 21 – the double Grand Slam winner (US Open 2022 and Wimbledon 2023) and ex-world No.1 would become the first to win three times in a row the Masters 1000 in Madrid.

Sinner overthrows Khachanov

Jannik Sinner, world No.2 and man in form during the first part of the season, overthrew Russian Karen Khachanov (17th) on Tuesday 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 of Madrid.

The Italian will face for a place in the last four either the Norwegian Casper Ruud (6th player in the world) or the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime (35th).

Between his third round match the previous evening, completed shortly before 10:00 p.m., and his round of 16 on Tuesday afternoon, which began shortly after 4:00 p.m., only a little more than 18 hours had passed.

But Sinner, seeded N.1 in the Spanish capital in the absence of Novak Djokovic, nevertheless found the energy necessary to reverse the situation and win in just over two hours.

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

The Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, world No.4 and No.8, also qualified, the first against the Kazakh Alexander Bublik (18th) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, the second against the Dutch Tallon Griekspoor (25th) 6-2, 6-4.

Medvedev, even if clay is still not his cup of tea, has now reached the quarter-finals in all nine Masters 1000s on the calendar. He is the tenth active player to achieve this.

For a place in the last four, he will face either Rafael Nadal or the young Czech Jiri Lehecka (31st), opposed in the evening.

Asked about Nadal’s qualification in the previous round, at the end of a long match which exceeded three hours against the Argentinian Pedro Cachin (91st), Medvedev estimated that there had been “a big third set”.

“He didn’t look very tired, Pedro did. It’s going to be super interesting to see how things go today (Tuesday), if Rafa is tired or not, if he’s better. I’ve been training with Jiri (Lehecka) before the tournament and he was playing great tennis,” he continued.



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