At 20 years old, Carlos Alcaraz has already solidified himself in tennis history becoming the youngest player to end the year as the world No. 1. So far this year, he’s 51-5. Alcaraz has already won two slams and will probably win many more. Heck, he just might be the goat one day (and no that’s not an overreaction.)
But there’s just one caveat.
On Thursday, his kryptonite took him to the distance yet again. This time, Alcaraz was able to outlast him when it mattered most.
Carlos Alcaraz defeats Tommy Paul 7-6,6-7,6-3
As per every match they’ve faced off in, this was once again a battle, as the two stars traded holds. Then after a Paul break, with the set on his fingertips at 5-3, Alcaraz broke back, tying things up at 5 games apiece. The two then faced off in a scintillating tiebreaker, where an incredible Alcaraz forehand drop shot would end up dictating the set.
In the second set, Paul found himself in a similar situation, up a break at 4-3, but history repeated itself. After both players traded breaks, Paul found himself yet again having the fate of the set in his hands. History would repeat itself, and down 6-5 in the second, Paul faced countless deuces and 3 match points in a 15-minute game.
After saving those three match points, Paul played a perfect tiebreak, blanking Alcaraz 7-0.
In the third set, Paul’s momentum staggered, as Alcaraz grabbed a break right away. However, play would soon halt due to a lengthy rain delay.
Twice, the players were unsuccessful in attempting to come back as the rain continued coming, but, the third time proved to be the charm, as the players hit the court after a two-hour break When they hit the court again, it would be Alcaraz escaping the wrath of Paul, avenging last weeks lost.
Alcaraz will take on Max Purcell in the Quarterfinals tomorrow as a heavy favorite. Paul, on the other hand, will get ready for the US Open, which is set to begin in just two weeks.
Given the last two weeks, let’s just hope we can get to see more of these two playing each other. It seems that whenever these two face each other, fans are greeted by box-office tennis, rain or no rain.