World No. 4 Carlos Alcaraz was glad with his opening performance in Cincinnati as he felt he was able to stay relaxed and play his game versus Mackenzie McDonald. After a first round bye, Alcaraz saw off McDonald 6-3 6-2 to progress into the Cincinnati last-16.
Last week, Alcaraz suffered a shock defeat to Tommy Paul in his Montreal opener. After the Paul loss, Alcaraz admitted that the pressure was too much for him to handle. This Tuesday, Alcaraz bounced back with a convincing victory over McDonald.
"I'm really happy with the performance today," Alcaraz said, per the ATP website. "One of the goals in this tournament is to grow with the pressure, to enjoy as I did at the beginning of the year and last year. To enjoy playing great tennis, to try to be relaxed.
I think in this round I did it and I'm really happy with it."
Alcaraz: I tried to be aggressive
"I think this court is fast, the ball slides a lot and it's difficult to play with that," he said of the Cincinnati conditions.
"I tried to be really focused with his shots and to be aggressive, that's all." Alcaraz got off to a great start to the match, breaking McDonald in the very opening game of the match. In the ninth game - when McDonald was serving to stay in the first set - Alcaraz earned his second break to win the opener.
After winning the first set, Alcaraz missed out on his first break point in the fourth game of the second set as McDonald tied the set to two games apiece. Alcaraz maybe didn't get a break in the fourth game, but earned back-to-back breaks in the sixth and eighth games to win four games in a row and complete a straight-set win in style.
It was the second meeting between the two. Alcaraz also defeated McDonald earlier this year in Indian Wells.