ATP Barcelona: Carlos Alcaraz battles past Roberto Bautista Agut

The younger Spaniard beat the more experienced compatriot in just under two hours

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Barcelona: Carlos Alcaraz battles past Roberto Bautista Agut

The defending Barcelona Open champion Carlos Alcaraz secured his 20th win of the season. Carlos beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 53 minutes in the third round for a place in the quarter-final. Alcaraz dropped only two games against Bautista Agut in the last year's Indian Wells.

The young gun had to work much harder in Barcelona. He overcame a break deficit in the opener and claimed three straight games from 5-4 down in the second to wrap up the win in under two hours. World no. 2 fired 17 service winners and finished the duel with 30 direct points and 27 unforced errors.

Bautista Agut could not follow that pace, staying on five winners and 13 mistakes and ending his run in the third round despite a great effort. Carlos dropped 41% of the points behind the initial shot and got broken three times from seven chances offered to Roberto.

The youngster seized half of the return points and turned them into five breaks from ten opportunities, enough to emerge at the top and avoid a decider.

Carlos Alcaraz is through into the Barcelona Open quarter-final.

Alcaraz faced two break points at the start of the encounter and denied them with winners to prevent an early setback.

The older Spaniard saved two break points in the fourth game and stole the rival's serve a few minutes later after Alcaraz's wayward backhand. Carlos stayed focused and cracked a backhand crosscourt winner in game six to pull the break back and level the score at 3-3.

Bautista Agut squandered game points at 3-4 and fell on the third break point after Alcaraz's deep return. The young gun blew a set point on his serve in game nine and faced a break point after Roberto's smash winner at the net.

Carlos saved it with a valiant serve & volley combo and forced the opponent's error on the third set point for 6-3 after 53 minutes. World no. 2 broke at the beginning of the second set with a volley winner at the net and earned another break chance at 2-0.

Bautista Agut denied it to remain within one break deficit and pulled the break back after Alcaraz's wild forehand in game six. The youngster grabbed another break in game seven with a forehand winner and lost serve in the next one thanks to a loose forehand.

Carlos served to prolong the set at 4-5 and held with a service winner. Roberto placed a backhand long in the 11th game and experienced three break points. He missed a forehand on the first to experience a break at love and push Carlos 6-5 up and closer to the finish line.

Alcaraz landed an ace in game 12 for a hold at love and a place in the quarter-final against another Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Atp Barcelona Carlos Alcaraz Roberto Bautista Agut