Watch: Carlos Alcaraz plays golf ahead of Monte Carlo

Carlos Alcaraz will seek his second title of the season in Monte Carlo

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Carlos Alcaraz plays golf ahead of Monte Carlo
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

On Monday, Carlos Alcaraz lost his place in the top-2 after 81 weeks, falling behind the Miami Masters champion Jannik Sinner. Carlos suffered a tough quarter-final loss to Grigor Dimitrov, ending his "Sunshine Double" dreams and switching his focus to clay.

Alcaraz played golf before heading to Monte Carlo, relaxing and recharging batteries ahead of his potential duels with Rafael Nadal, Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic. Carlos finished the previous season ranked second behind Djokovic, claiming notable titles at Wimbledon and two Masters 1000 events.

However, the Spaniard lost the ground after that epic Cincinnati final, losing it to Serb and reaching no more finals by the end of the season.

Carlos Alcaraz, Miami 2024 © Al Bello / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alcaraz lost in the semi-final at the US Open and the ATP Finals, hoping for a better run in 2024.

The 20-year-old played well at the beginning of the Australian Open, reaching the quarter-final and setting the clash against Alexander Zverev. The German dominated and built a massive advantage before the Spaniard stole the third set and prolonged his chances.

However, Alexander stayed focused in the fourth set and sealed the deal, sending world no. 2 out of the competition. Carlos could not defend his Buenos Aires title, falling to Nicolas Jarry in the semi-final and moving to Rio.

The young gun twisted his ankle after only a couple of minutes against Thiago Monteiro, retiring and losing more points after playing in the final a year ago. Alcaraz recovered ahead of Indian Wells, seeking his second consecutive title in the desert and the first on the Tour since last July.

The Spaniard beat Matteo Arnaldi, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Fabian Marozsan en route to a place in the quarter-final. Carlos produced one of his best matches of the season versus Alexander Zverev, dropping six points behind the initial shot in a 6-3, 6-1 triumph.

World no. 2 grabbed half of the return points and turned them into four breaks from five opportunities, controlling the scoreboard and sailing over the top. Alcaraz met the Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner in the semi-final and delivered the Italian's only loss in 2024, overcoming a slow start and dominating sets two and three in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.

Carlos Alcaraz, Miami 2024© Al Bello / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz hit the golf court ahead of the European clay swing.

Carlos lost serve two times in the opener and took charge in the rest of the duel, stealing the rival's serve three times and booking a place in the title clash.

Alcaraz defended the trophy in style after ousting world no. 4 Daniil Medvedev 7-6, 6-1 in an hour and 42 minutes. Carlos prevailed in a tight opener and left the rival behind in the second set, celebrating his fifth Masters 1000 title at 20.

The Spaniard played against two break points and trailed in the early stages of the duel after getting broken once. Alcaraz erased the deficit and grabbed three breaks from ten chances, dominating set number two and lifting the trophy in style.

Grigor Dimitrov & Carlos Alcaraz, Miami 2024© Al Bello / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos had the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, taking charge from the middle of the first set and finishing with 24 winners and 26 unforced errors.

Medvedev broke in the second game of the match and saved three break points in the next one, forging an early advantage. Alcaraz pulled the break back with a forehand winner in game five and missed another break point at 4-4.

The set went into a tie break, and Daniil climbed back from 2-5, standing two points away from taking the set. However, the Spaniard won two points at 5-5, sealing the opener and gaining a boost. Alcaraz grabbed two breaks in the second set and held in game seven, celebrating a much-needed title and hoping for more in Miami.

Carlos reached the quarter-final without issues, dropping 15 games in six sets. The Spaniard wished for more against Grigor Dimitrov, but the match did not turn his way. The Bulgarian ousted world no. 2 6-2, 6-4, earning a notable win and moving into the last four.

Carlos played a poor match, suffering four breaks after dropping almost half of the points in his games. Dimitrov saved four out of five break points, playing aggressive tennis and overpowering the champion from two years ago.

Grigor broke in the second game of the match and saved break points a few minutes later for 3-0. The more experienced player landed an ace in the seventh game for another comfortable hold and 5-2 before wrapping up the set with a backhand winner in the next one, breaking the Spaniard for the second time.

Carlos Alcaraz, Miami 2024© Megan Briggs / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Not stopping there, Dimitrov clinched a break at 2-1 in the second set with a forehand return winner, cementing it with a hold at love and moving closer to a place in the last four.

Carlos saved a break point in game six and broke Grigor at love a few minutes later, returning to the positive side. Dimitrov made no errors in the closing stages, landing an unreturned serve for 5-4 and painting a forehand down the line winner on the return in the next one for two match points.

Alcaraz sprayed a forehand error on the first, ending his campaign in the quarter-final and leaving the top-2 after 81 consecutive weeks.

Carlos Alcaraz Monte Carlo