ATP Cincinnati: Carlos Alcaraz edges Tommy Paul and serves revenge

Carlos Alcaraz needed over three hours to beat Tommy Paul in the third round

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Cincinnati: Carlos Alcaraz edges Tommy Paul and serves revenge

Carlos Alcaraz will compete in his tenth Masters 1000 quarter-final following a hard-fought victory over Tommy Paul in Cincinnati. World no. 1 prevailed 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 after three hours and nine minutes, enduring a formidable opponent and the rain to advance into the last eight.

Alcaraz gave everything to serve revenge and oust the rival who defeated him in Toronto last week. The Spaniard lost serve four times but did enough damage to emerge at the top. Carlos created no less than 23 break chances, seizing six and moving over the top with a strong performance in the decider.

Alcaraz fired 40 winners and 60 unforced errors, controlling the pace with his forehand and spraying too many mistakes from both wings. Paul blasted 45 service winners and still faced that many break points after losing ground in the mid-range exchanges.

The American saved a break point in the encounter's first game and built the advantage with a break at 15 in game six following a volley winner at the net.

Carlos Alcaraz is through into the last eight in Cincinnati.

Paul denied two break points in the seventh game and served for the opener at 5-3.

Alcaraz pulled the break back at the last moment after the rival's volley error, returning to the positive side and gaining a boost. Carlos created three break points in the 11th game, eager to seal the set before the tie break.

Instead, Tommy saved them and extended the battle. The set went into a tie break, and the American forged a 5-3 lead. The Spaniard pulled the mini-break back with a forehand winner and squandered a set point at 6-5. Carlos landed a drop shot winner at 6-6 and seized the second set point after the rival's forehand error.

They struggled behind the second serve in the second set, with 17 break points up for grabs. We saw three breaks on each side, as they stayed neck and neck. Paul led 2-1, 4-3 and 5-4, constantly losing serve in the next game and squandering a set point in game ten to keep the rival in contention.

Tommy faced an ultimate challenge in game 12, denying three set points and gathering a boost ahead of the tie break following a 15-minute game. Paul was the only player on the court in the breaker, taking it 7-0 and forcing a decider after two hours and 23 minutes.

World no. 1 made a fresh start and delivered a break at the beginning of the final set when his rival missed a forehand. Paul survived a break point in the fifth game to remain within one break deficit before they left the court due to the rain.

They returned an hour and a half later, and Carlos served well to open a 5-3 gap. The rivals left the court again after the opening point of the ninth game, and Carlos grabbed a break when they returned to seal the deal and end his agony.

Atp Cincinnati Carlos Alcaraz Tommy Paul