Jan-Lennard Struff Salutes Carlos Alcaraz: 'Too good!'
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3286
Jan-Lennard Struff had two fantastic weeks in Caja Magica. The German entered the Madrid Masters main draw as a lucky loser and scored six victories for a place in his second and career-best ATP final. Jan-Lennard threw everything at the defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, winning a set but falling 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 25 minutes.
Struff was delighted with his performance, playing brave tennis and acting like a better player in the opening two sets. Carlos found a way to survive all the issues, saving six out of eight break points and stealing the rival's serve three times to defend the title.
Carlos hit 19 winners and 31 unforced errors, and Jan-Lennard added 26 direct points and 33 mistakes. The young gun had more service winners, although Struff forged the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes with the aggressive approach in his initial strokes.
Jan-Lennard Struff pushed Carlos Alcaraz to the limits at the Madrid Masters.
Carlos erased the deficit in the mid-range rallies and earned his victory in that segment. The German threw everything at the young gun, keeping the points on his tally and rushing to the net to break the rival's rhythm.
Alcaraz prevailed in the opener after saving three break points at 5-4. Jan-Lennard made a flying start in the second and brought it home to introduce a decider. The Spaniard saved a crucial break point in the third game with a service winner and delivered a break in the next one to make the difference and gain a huge boost.
The home favorite served well in the last couple of games and held at love at 5-3 to emerge at the top. "I had a great adventure as a lucky loser, reaching the final and finishing runner-up in Madrid. I hope to use this momentum and play well in the upcoming weeks.
This is my career-best result, and I'm pleased. I lost serve in the encounter's first game and had a chance to pull the break back at 4-5 after creating three break chances. Carlos played well and denied them, although it could have easily been 5-5.
The second set was incredible; I played well and controlled the pace. Carlos broke me in the third set's third game and did everything right after that. He was on a roll, and I could not stop him anymore. Carlos was too good in the end.
I met Carlos twice before Madrid and knew I had to be aggressive and take time off his strokes. When he has enough time to settle for his strokes, beating him is tough. I tried to put pressure on him and go for my shots. He is fast and physically better prepared than me, so I wanted to avoid more extended exchanges.
I'm proud of how I competed, and the final was a great result. If someone told me two weeks ago that I would play in the final, I would accept it," Jan-Lennard Struff said.