Carlos Alcaraz squeaks by Daniel Evans at Shanghai Masters

(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images) /

Carlos Alcaraz used to make running through tournaments look easy. He was many times clearly the best player in any given match or tourney. Alcaraz raced to number one on the ATP tour at age 20 and it appeared he might hold that ranking for the next century. But for whatever reason, tennis just hasn’t been as easy for him since he won Wimbledon in July.

In fact, Alcaraz hasn’t won a tournament since he defeated Novak Djokovic in the five-set Wimbledon final and Alcaraz has made just one final. Yes, he is still making deep runs in tournaments as he has reached at least the quarterfinals of the four tournaments he’s finished since Wimbledon, but the struggles in each tournament have happened in most individual matches.

In the third round of the Rolex Shanghai Masters, Carlos Alcaraz did manage to sneak by Daniel Evans, but the match was not as easy as the two sets might imply. Alcaraz was broken early in the first set before fighting back and winning the set in a tie-break. He had to play nearly flawless tennis – he had just two unforced errors in the second set – to defeat Evans. Eventually, Alcaraz won the match 7-6(1) and 6-4.

Carlos Alcaraz moves on to the fourth round at the Rolex Shanghai Masters

Carlos Alcaraz just doesn’t seem to put people away as easily as he was up until July. Had he played many other players than Evans, who struggled with his serve overall (Evans landed just 55 percent of his first serves), Alcaraz might have lost. Next up for Alcaraz is 18-seed Grigor Dimitrov who has been playing some excellent tennis lately.

Dimitrov dispatched Karen Khachanov in the third round by the same score Alcaraz won. But Dimitrov has a much bigger serve than Evans and could certainly give Carlos Alcaraz fits if Dimitrov plays well.

In an upset on Monday, 7-seed Taylor Fritz lost in three sets to Diego Schwartzman 6-4 3-6 7-6(5). Meanwhile, 5-seed Andrey Rublev destroyed 31-seed Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-0.

Next. Chris Evert is psyched about the WTA finals. dark