World no. 4 Carlos Alcaraz is through to the second round at the US Open. The last year's quarter-finalist led 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 against Sebastian Baez before the Argentine retired to send the Spaniard into the next round. It was another shaky performance from Alcaraz, as he broke Baez's resistance only in the closing stages of the opening two sets.
Carlos hit one ace and faced ten break points. He defended eight of them and delivered five breaks from 13 opportunities to remain safe before the rival retired. Baez saved a break point in the encounter's second game to avoid an early setback and level the score at 1-1.
Both players served well in the following games to lock the result at 5-5.
Carlos Alcaraz is through to the second round at the US Open.
Alcaraz secured the 11th game with a service winner, and Baez served to stay in the set in the next one.
Carlos created two set points and seized the first with mighty forehands that pushed him 7-5 in front. The Spaniard broke in the second set's second game to open a 2-0 advantage. Sebastian pushed Carlos to the limits in the next one and converted the fifth break chance to pull the break back and improve his chances.
The Argentine played well in those moments and created more opportunities on the return in game seven. He grabbed the fifth break point to open a 4-3 gap, looking good to take the set and level the overall score. Baez squandered a game point that could have pushed him 5-3 in front, and Alcaraz broke back to lock the result at 4-4.
The Spaniard took the ninth game with a fine drop shot that sent him 5-4 in front and gave him a boost. Sebastian held at 30 in game ten to extend the set and his chances. Carlos forced the rival's mistake to open a 6-5 lead, and Sebastian served to stay in the set in the next one.
The Spaniard wasted three set points before cracking a forehand down the line winner on the fourth to open two sets to love advantage after two hours and 14 minutes. Baez took a medical timeout on his left leg ahead of the third set and served at 0-1. Alcaraz took a break after an excellent point, and Baez retired due to the pain in his leg.