Carlos Alcaraz sets his eyes on 'Sunshine Double'

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Gael Monfils in the third round in Miami

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz sets his eyes on 'Sunshine Double'
© Megan Briggs / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz is seeking his second Miami Masters crown. The Spaniard is through into the fourth round in Miami for the third straight year after beating Roberto Carballes Baena and Gael Monfils. Carlos conquered Indian Wells two weeks ago and will seek another notable title on Sunday if he keeps this level.

He is eager to collect the 'Sunshine Double' and join the list of legends who accomplished that. Carlos made a winning start in the Stadium following a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over his compatriot Roberto Carballes Baena. Alcaraz sealed the deal in an hour and 25 minutes, settling into a fine rhythm right from the start in challenging conditions and racing over the top.

Carlos Alcaraz, Miami 2024© Megan Briggs / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Thus, the Spaniard kicked off the 'Sunshine Double' chase after conquering Indian Wells on Sunday. Carlos served at 71% and saved all three break points in the second game of the match, keeping the pressure on the other side.

Carballes Baena failed to follow that pace, dropping 53% of the points in his games and getting broken five times from nine chances offered to world no. 2. Alcaraz tamed his strokes nicely and had the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range exchanges.

Carlos made a reliable start and created three break chances in the first game of the match after a drop shot winner. He seized the second after a great defense, building an early advantage. Suddenly, the 2022 champion hit a double fault in the second game, offering his rival three break chances.

Alcaraz denied them and held with a forced error, opening a 2-0 advantage. Roberto closed the third game at 15 after Carlos' forehand error, and world no. 2 responded with an ace a few minutes later, forging a 3-1 advantage.

Carballes Baena played a wild forehand in the fifth game, offering his compatriot three break chances. Carlos converted the second after Roberto's double fault, moving 4-1 up and closer to the opener. Alcaraz embraced serve & volley attempts in the sixth game, closing it with two volley winners and opening a 5-1 advantage.

Carballes Baena served to extend the set in the seventh game, holding with a service winner and reducing the deficit.

Carlos Alcaraz, Miami 2024© Megan Briggs / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz is safely through into the last 16 in Miami.

Carlos served for the opener at 5-2 and held after deuce, wrapping up the set in 38 minutes and gathering a boost ahead of the second.

Like in the opener, Alcaraz kicked off the second set with a break, firing a booming forehand down the line winner and extending the gap. World no. 2 cemented the lead with a service winner after deuce in game two and placed a volley winner two games later for 40-15.

Carballes Baena climbed back to deuce before Alcaraz wrapped up the game with a volley winner, moving 3-1 in front. Carlos extended the fifth game with a smash winner and created a break chance with a drop shot winner. Roberto denied it with a backhand down the line winner and erased the second break point with a lob winner, doing everything to remain in touch.

Gael Monfils, Miami 2024© Megan Briggs / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Alcaraz prolonged the game with another volley winner and seized the third break point after Carballes Baena's loose forehand, moving 4-1 in front.

Carlos held at 15 in the sixth game, forcing Roberto to serve to stay in the match at 1-5. Alcaraz landed a drop shot winner at 30-30, creating a match point and seizing it after his rival's loose forehand, moving over the top and booking a place in the third round.

The Spaniard was too strong for the veteran Gael Monfils, ousting the rival 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 14 minutes and marching into the last 16 for the third straight year. Gael injured his right ankle in the fifth game of the first set, struggling to follow Carlos' pace in the remaining ones.

Alcaraz dominated and opened a 5-1 advantage in the second set before Monfils stepped in, pulling one break back and extending the battle before the young Spaniard sealed the deal and remained on the title course. World no.

2 served at 81% and dropped 14 points in nine service games, suffering one break from two chances offered to his opponent. The veteran could not match those numbers, losing half of the points in his games and allowing Alcaraz to grab four breaks and forge a massive advantage.

Nothing separated them in the mid-range and most advanced rallies, with Carlos forging the win in the shortest range up to four strokes, hitting more service winners and attacking first.

Carlos Alcaraz & Gael Monfils, Miami 2024© Al Bello / Staff - Getty Images Sport

They served well in the opening four games of the encounter before the Spaniard stepped in on the return at 2-2.

Gael experienced an injury and got broken at love after netting a routine backhand. Carlos held at 30 in the sixth game, cementing the lead and forcing Gael's mistake in game seven for another break and a 5-2 advantage. Alcaraz fired a service winner in the eighth game, wrapping up the opener in 32 minutes.

Monfils sprayed a backhand error at the beginning of the second set, losing serve at love and dropping six straight games when Alcaraz held at 15 in game two. World no. 2 cracked a forehand crosscourt winner in the fifth game, delivering another break and moving 4-1 in front.

Carlos served for the win at 5-2 and sprayed a forehand error, losing serve and keeping Gael in contention. The Frenchman held in game nine, reducing the deficit to 5-4 before the Spaniard sealed the deal with a serve & volley combo in the next one, moving over the top and entering the last 16.

Carlos Alcaraz Gael Monfils