'Carlos Alcaraz was too good in the end,' admits Jan-Lennard Struff

Carlos Alcaraz beat Jan-Lennard Struff in three sets in the Madrid Masters final

by Jovica Ilic
'Carlos Alcaraz was too good in the end,' admits Jan-Lennard Struff

Jan-Lennard Struff became the first lucky loser in a Masters 1000 final in Madrid, scoring six main draw wins to advance into the title clash. The home favorite and the defending champion Carlos Alcaraz stood across the net and scored a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win in two hours and 25 minutes.

The German played aggressive tennis and did his best to keep the points on his rallies and avoid more extended exchanges. However, the young gun found a way to break his rival's resistance in the decider, winning the title after a massive battle.

Struff praised Alcaraz and his movement and the ability to control the ball and engineer the points. Carlos denied six out of eight break points and stole 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.

Jan-Lennard Struff praised Carlos Alcaraz and his game after Madrid.

Still, Struff attacked with the first groundstroke and built the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Alcaraz erased the deficit in the mid-range rallies and earned his victory in that segment. The German threw everything at the home favorite, keeping the points on his tally and rushing to the net to break the rival's rhythm.

Alcaraz grabbed an early break in the opener and prevailed after saving three break points at 5-4. Jan-Lennard made a flying start in the second set and brought it home to introduce a decider, playing better than Carlos. 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 considerable boost.

The home favorite served well in the last couple of games and held at love at 5-3 to emerge at the top and claim his fourth Masters 1000 crown a couple of days after turning 20! "I had a great adventure as a lucky loser, reaching the final and finishing runner-up in Madrid.

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," Jan-Lennard Struff said.

Carlos Alcaraz Jan-Lennard Struff Madrid Masters