The epic Sunday of Carlos Alcaraz, crowned in Barcelona and successor to Rafael Nadal on the charts

4h29 of tennis awaited him. When he entered the court this Sunday to resume hostilities against Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals in Barcelona, ​​Carlos Alcaraz had no idea of ​​the challenge before him. A tennis, mental and physical challenge from which he will come out on top, with the trophy under his arm and the feeling that nothing can disturb him in his inexorable rise to power.

The match point that changes everything

ATP Barcelona

Barcelona’s top 5 dominated by Alcaraz: Backhand smash, improbable forehand…


However, we believed that the kid was going to become human again. Undermined by a still catchy De Minaur, the young Carlos seemed less dominant than usual. If his serve allowed him to stay in the game for a long time, we weren’t giving much of his skin when the Australian got two match points at 7-6, 6-5. It was completely off center on a good first from his opponent that Alcaraz returned.

The following ? It’s a passing that came from nowhere, an inspiration that can’t be learned and… a lot of luck. “On the first match point, I do a passing shot that I still can’t believe, almost with my eyes closedhe laughed afterwards. But I fought until the end and I believed in my ability to go up the score“This refusal of defeat, even in the most desperate situations, reminds you of someone, doesn’t it?

Passing with eyes closed on match point: the miracle signed Alcaraz against de Minaur

This “miracle”, a term that he validated in conference, Alcaraz knew how to make it profitable. With his tennis and despite heavy legs, he overturned a very bad situation to open his way to the final. “Frankly, it was a super demanding matchhe explained again after this fight of almost 3h40. We had already played two matches on Friday and all the waiting on Saturday took a lot of energy. But, in the end, you have to give it your all“.

If he didn’t admit it, he still had some reserve. His half ended at 2:30 p.m. and dust, the Spaniard had only three hours to prepare for his final against a much less bothered Pablo Carreno Busta in the semi-final (6-3, 6-4 against Diego Schwartzman). Faced with an unprecedented situation, many would have lost their footing. He stayed true to his routine.

A 3h38 effort and 2 match points saved: Alcaraz well deserved its final

4/4 in the final

After the game, I rode my bike fifteen minutes, drank my smoothie, ate a little and took a thirty-minute nap to be as awake as possible for the final.“, he revealed after his coronation this Sunday. It was almost fresh as a roach, aggressive and bleeding that he started this final. The fruit of a strategy thought out upstream.

I wanted to show from the start that I was not tiredhe confessed. I played a great semi-final of almost four hours, I had less recovery time but I took it as an advantage. I came to the court with very clear ideas to do what I had to do. I was aggressive until the end“. Aggressive and impregnable. On the whole of this one-sided final, he will have lost only seven points on his service. Under these conditions, it is difficult to believe in the exploit for PCB. “It was frankly complicated to play against him today“, has also recognized his friend.

This ability to raise his level of play when circumstances require it is one of the most impressive weapons in this kid. In four finals played on the circuit, he won four. All without ever leaving the slightest set on the way, offering Richard Gasquet, Diego Schwartzman, Casper Ruud and Carreno-Busta during these posters, far from being rookies in this area.

The Nadal mirror, again and again

The winning gene comes from my familyhe replied with a smile when explaining this incredible ratio. My father, my grandfather, my team kept telling me that the finals are not played, they are won“. The message is transmitted. By succeeding Rafael Nadal in Barcelona, ​​Alcaraz continues to maintain this almost disturbing mirror with his idol.

On April 25, 2005, “Rafa”, 18, won the title in Catalonia and entered the Top 10. On April 25, 2022, Carlos, 18, won the title in Catalonia and entered the the Top 10.”It’s an incredible stat but it’s not the only impressive thing I do like Rafahe recalled, relaunched as to this figure. I don’t know what to say, I’m delighted to be in the Top 10 at 18 and it’s really special that Rafa did it on the same date as me because he’s my idol“.

From idol to rival, there is only one step that Alcaraz is taking. After his almost surprising exit from the road in Monte-Carlo, here he is with the wind at his back as Madrid, Rome and then Roland-Garros appear on the calendar. And, to listen to him, he has no intention of stopping on such a good path: “I don’t want to reach any ceiling, I want to continue playing at this level and if I reproduce this level of tennis, I have options to win matches, win tournaments, beat the best“.

Alcaraz in the deep end of the precocious, Djokovic in that of the frustrated

ATP Barcelona

Passing with eyes closed on match point: the miracle signed Alcaraz against de Minaur


ATP Barcelona

Too strong, too fresh, too regular: the summary of Alcaraz’s impressive new coronation


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