2022 in Review: Carlos Alcaraz follows Rafael Nadal's pace
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3818
Carlos Alcaraz conquered his first Masters 1000 title in Miami, becoming the third-youngest champion at that level after Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal. Not stopping there, a teenager went all the way at home in Madrid to become a multiple Masters 1000 champion at such a young age!
Carlos took down Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic within two days and set the title clash against Alexander Zverev. The Spaniard preserved energy after a marathon clash against Djokovic and toppled the German 6-3, 6-1 in 62 minutes.
Thus, Alcaraz became the youngest multiple Masters 1000 winner since Rafael Nadal in 2005! Zverev played the previous two matches late at night and went to bed before 4 and 5 am. A two-time Madrid Masters champion did not have much in the tank for Sunday's final, winning only four games to settle with the runner-up prize.
Zverev defeated Alcaraz in straight sets twice in 2021, and the Spaniard was ready to respond in front of the partisan crowd at Caja Magica. Carried by that boost, a teenager stormed over a tired German to lift the season's fourth title!
Alcaraz served at 71% and dropped six points behind the initial shot. Feeling no pressure in his games, Carlos pushed hard on the return and grabbed half of the points.
Carlos Alcaraz became a two-time Masters 1000 champion after winning Madrid.
He created eight break chances, seized four to control the scoreboard and emerged at the top in no time.
The Spaniard fired 12 winners and 11 unforced errors. The German plagued his chances with seven winners and 25 unforced errors, including a double fault on the match point. There were only eight rallies with over eight strokes.
Carlos forged a massive advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges to bring the victory home in no time. Alcaraz held in the opening game from 30-15 down and created a break chance at 2-1. Zverev saved it with a service winner and stayed on the positive side with a smash winner at the net.
Alcaraz grabbed the fifth game with a serve & volley combo and cracked a forehand crosscourt winner in the next one for three break chances. Zverev netted a volley at the net on the first to lose serve and fall 4-2 behind.
Carlos forced the rival's mistake in the seventh game to confirm the advantage and move closer to the opener. Alexander held at love in game eight to prolong the set and reduce the deficit. Alcaraz served for the opener in game nine and earned three set points with a service winner.
A teenager seized the first with an unreturned serve for 6-3 in 31 minutes and a massive boost. Zverev held at 30 at the start of the second set before Alcaraz closed game two at 15 for 1-1. The German sprayed a forehand error in game three and faced three break points.
Carlos converted the first with a perfect drop shot winner that sent him 2-1 in front. The Spaniard grabbed the fourth game with a service winner and delivered another break in the next one following a lob winner that pushed him 4-1 in front.
Alcaraz opened a 5-1 gap with a hold at love, and Zverev served to stay in the match. Carlos created three match points and wasted them to keep the opponent alive. However, Alexander hit a double fault on the fourth match point to propel Carlos over the finish line and toward history.