ATP Buenos Aires: Carlos Alcaraz struggles but beats Camilo Ugo Carabelli

Carlos Alcaraz did not play well behind the second serve in his first match in Buenos Aires

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Buenos Aires: Carlos Alcaraz struggles but beats Camilo Ugo Carabelli
© Stream screenshot

World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz is off to a winning start in Buenos Aires. The defending champion played his first match since the Australian Open quarter-final loss, struggling a bit but beating Camilo Ugo Carabelli 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 45 minutes.

Carlos served at 72%, needing every first serve he could find after a terrible two-from-17 performance on the second serve, his worst at the ATP level in a career! The Argentine grabbed 46% of the return points and turned them into four breaks from nine opportunities.

The home player faced issues behind the first and second serve, giving away 59% of the points and experiencing seven breaks from massive 18 break chances offered to a two-time Major winner. The opening set saw six breaks from eight games, with Alcaraz taking every return game to overcome a slow start and build the advantage.

Ugo Carabelli created two break chances in the first game of the encounter and converted the first after Alcaraz's costly double fault. The Spaniard earned three break points in the second game after a sharp return, and the Argentine denied them to reach deuce.

Still, Carlos seized the fourth to pull the break back and level the score at 1-1. Camilo played well on the return in game three, painting a forehand down the line winner to pass Carlos at the net and build another advantage.

Alcaraz attacked on a break point in the fourth game, clinching a break with a volley winner and taking charge.

Camilo Ugo Carabelli & Carlos Alcaraz, Buenos Aires 2024© Stream screenshot

World no. 2 fired a forehand winner in game five, delivering the first hold of the match and moving 3-2 in front.

The Spaniard fired another bullet from his forehand in the sixth game, creating a break chance and landing a forehand down the line return winner for his third straight break and a 4-2 advantage. Carlos moved 5-2 in front with a service winner in game seven and created three set points on the return in the next one.

World no. 2 forced the rival's mistake with a sharp return on the first, delivering his fourth break and wrapping up the opener 6-2 in 33 minutes. The Spaniard placed a backhand long at the beginning of the second set, facing three break points.

Ugo Carabelli converted the third after a forehand attack, building an early lead like in the opening set.

Carlos Alcaraz is off to a winning start in Buenos Aires.

The Argentine landed a crafty volley winner at the net in the second game, cementing the lead and moving 2-0 in front.

Carlos held after deuce in the third game and pushed strong on the return in the next one. It turned into a 13-minute marathon, and the Spaniard clinched the seventh break point, pulling the break back and leveling the score at 2-2.

Alcaraz played a forehand down the line winner almost from the ground in the fifth game, holding and seeking another break in the next one. Carlos created three break points with a sharp return and seized the first after Camilo's double fault, forging a 4-2 lead and moving closer to the finish line.

Alcaraz punched another forehand winner in the seventh game, holding at love and sailing toward the top. The Spaniard served for the win at 5-3 and created a match point with a smash winner after a well-constructed attack.

He missed it with a loose forehand and got broken after a wayward forehand, bringing his rival back to the positive side of the scoreboard. Alcaraz had a chance to earn two match points on the return in game ten, missing a routine forehand before creating one match point with a forehand crosscourt winner.

World no. 2 squandered it with a loose backhand, and the home star locked the result at 5-5 after an entertaining rally and a backhand down the line winner. Ugo Carabelli gained a boost and passed Alcaraz at the net in the 11th game, creating three break chances and moving closer to a complete turnaround.

Carlos Alcaraz, Buenos Aires 2024© Stream screenshot

Carlos stayed focused and denied them with winners, firing another from his serve to bring the game home and gain a boost. The Spaniard started the 12th game with a crafty lob and a drop shot winner before forcing the opponent's mistake for 30-0.

Alcaraz cleaned the baseline with his forehand, earning three match points and seizing the first with a forced error, breaking his rival at love and moving over the top without playing a tie break. Carlos is seeking his first ATP title since July last year, claiming his second Major trophy at Wimbledon over Novak Djokovic and slowing down for a bit.

The Spaniard lost a thrilling Cincinnati final to the Serb and experienced three semi-final losses by the end of the season. Alcaraz kicked off the 2024 campaign at the Australian Open, reaching the quarter-final and becoming the fourth-youngest player in the last eight at all four Majors after Boris Becker, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz failed to go further, falling to Alexander Zverev in four sets.

Atp Buenos Aires Carlos Alcaraz Camilo Ugo Carabelli