Carlos Alcaraz’s Grass Court Inspiration

Carlos Alcaraz surpassed himself this Tuesday on the Queen’s grass in his return to the green turf 338 days later. He put an end to Fran Cerúndolo’s resistance, winning 6-1 and 7-5.

The match pitted number 2 against number 26, with the feeling that Carlitos was the best in history on grass and Cerúndolo was a rival from the previous one. Cerúndolo will not be the one to end the two years of unbeaten streak of Samuel López’s pupil on the green carpet. The winner of the duel between Jack Draper and Mariano Navone will compete. Draper, favorite of the local public with the permission of Andy Murray, won his first title in Stuttgart on Sunday, on the same surface.

The current tournament champion sent his first message by winning the initial game with a blank score and deciding the first point in his favor with a service at 214 kilometers per hour. At 18 minutes, the result was already 5-0. The center court of the charming Queen’s club had become too small to see a different player, one of the few who ensures spectacle and unmatched plasticity.

The two protagonists had played a set on Sunday, with a score of 7-5 for the Spaniard. But the competition is something else. The chosen ones grow with the adrenaline of the moment. Cerúndolo had just lost to Novak Djokovic in the round of 16 at Roland Garros after dominating by two sets to one against an opponent who was playing with a torn meniscus in his knee. Djokovic underwent surgery two days later and declined to enter the quarterfinals with Casper Ruud.

Alcaraz had an option to close the initial round with a 6-0. Francisco saved it with a serve over the white line. He opened his locker immediately afterwards, avoiding the rosco. The followers applauded. They wanted more spectacle. The Argentine savored what it means to be ahead in the continuation. Carlitos lowered his guard a little and a long right hand gave Cerúndolo the first break. That’s what grass has. A mistake first costs a 3-0 against.

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Alcaraz wore the Nike clothing that saw him win just nine days ago on the land of Roland Garros. The white kit, according to tradition, is reserved for the defense of the crown at Wimbledon. The young man from El Palmar had a 0-30 to recover from the break, but it escaped him. He returned to the scene later to take the serve from his victim when it served to sign the tie on the scoreboard.

The world number 2’s bench was full of familiar faces. Along with the tennis player’s team, the presence of Abel Lusa, owner of the Spanish restaurant Cambio de Tercio, his wife Fernando and their three children stood out. All of them already witnessed Carlitos’ triumph a year ago at Queen’s.

“It has been a great test having to subtract to keep me in the second set,” Carlos Alcaraz said.

Alcaraz saved three set points in the tenth round. A shot from Cerúndolo was spit out by the net and then he connected two missiles, one at 218 kilometers per hour, his most powerful serve in the current course. The top was 217 km/h in the last edition of the Mutua Madrid Open. His were the last four games of the game.

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