Carlos Alcaraz is only 20 years old but plays as if he is 37. He kept his calm on Friday after a rough start to the second set and defeated Grigor Dimitrov at the Cinch Championships in straight sets 6-4 6-4. Alcaraz will now face Sebastian Korda in the semifinals on Saturday.
The way Alcaraz plays is almost difficult to explain. Even commentators calling his matches sometimes have difficulty expressing the words to convey just how special of a player he is. He makes shots at critical angles that only the best ever have made, and he does so almost not knowing how good he is.
But in the second set against Dimitrov, Alcaraz found himself down 0-3. Not only was Dimitrov winning the set but he looked dominant with crushing backhands low to the grass and a serve that was exceptionally on point. It appeared that the match would go to a third and decisive set.
Carlos Alcaraz moves on to semis at Cinch Championships
Then Alcaraz corrected himself and won six of the next seven games. Heck, even the game he lost was on his serve. Alcaraz broke Dimitrov four straight times and he won eight of the last nine points to move on at the Queen’s Club.
Alcaraz still hasn’t played a ton of tennis at a tour-level tournament so this might affect how well he does at Wimbledon. But Dimitrov has won grass tournaments before so defeating him should give Alcaraz some more confidence. Not that he seems to need it because, again, he seems to have no idea of just how good he is yet.
He plays with a joy that is infectious but so pen-pointedly well that it is difficult to comprehend. He doesn’t often get huge reactions from crowds because they, like his opponents, are often so in awe of what they are witnessing.
Sebastian Korda, himself only 22 years old, will be a good test for Alcaraz. Korda has a huge serve and moves well on grass. The difference, however, as it is against most players Alcaraz faces, is that Korda will have to play near-perfectly to win while Alcaraz simply has to play 80 percent of his top level.