ATP Roland Garros: Carlos Alcaraz downs Karen Khachanov and reaches QF
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3194
The 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is through to his second Major quarter-final and the first at Roland Garros. Carlos took down Karen Khachanov 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes for a place in the last eight, becoming the youngest Roland Garros quarter-finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2006.
The young Spaniard is 32-3 in 2022 and 20-1 on clay. Alcaraz has won the last 14 matches in Barcelona, Madrid and Paris, and he will seek the 15th consecutive victory against Alexander Zverev in two days. Carlos took 45% of the points in the return games and turned them into five breaks from 12 opportunities.
The Spaniard controlled the pace and overpowered the opponent with 37 winners and 30 unforced errors. Khachanov could not do much in the opener, and he started to challenge the young gun from set number two. Still, he broke Carlos once, which was insufficient for a more favorable result after failing to create a break chance before the third set.
Carlos Alcaraz is safely through into the Roland Garros quarter-final.
Alcaraz built the advantage in the shortest and more advanced exchanges, showing his immense talent and shot abilities to remain on the title course.
The Spaniard was off to a flying start in the opening set, dropping four points behind the initial shot and delivering two breaks for 6-1. Carlos held at love in the encounter's first game with a smash winner and cracked a forehand winner in game two for an early advantage.
A teenager placed a drop shot winner to seize the third game and grabbed another break in the next one after Karen's double fault for 4-0. Alcaraz went for another perfect drop shot in game five and closed the opener on his serve at 5-1 with a service winner after 26 minutes.
The Spaniard made a bit more errors in the second set, but he still did enough to keep the serve safe and grab one break that pushed him ahead. Khachanov fended off a break point in the third game and stayed neck and neck with his rival until 3-3.
Carlos secured a break in game seven and held after deuce in the next one for 5-3. The Spaniard fired a service winner at 5-4 to complete the set and open a massive advantage after an hour and 15 minutes. Carlos had 17 winners and 12 unforced errors in the third set, and he had to work hard in the second part to bring it home, as Karen went for his shots as well.
The youngster forged a 3-1 advantage before the Russian pulled the break back in game six for 3-3. Carlos played an incredible tweener in the seventh game to earn a break and made the crowd erupt in joy. Alcaraz saved a break point in game eight to open a 5-3 gap and squandered five match points on the return in the next one to keep the rival in contention.
Serving for the triumph in game ten, Alcaraz held at 15 to seal the deal and advance into his first Roland Garros quarter-final.