Alcaraz survives scare in Madrid opener; Swietech Wins | tennis news

Carlos Alcaraz clenched both fists and roared “Vamos! Vamos! Vamos!” In the packed stands of the Madrid Open.

Tennis – Madrid Open – Park Manzanares, Madrid, Spain – April 28, 2023 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain reacts during his round of 64 match against Emil Rusuvuori of Finland Reuters/Juan Medina TPX

His war cry was “Let’s go!” In Spanish, Alcaraz finds inspiration when he faces hardship, and excites his fans. This time it worked.

The defending champion survived a tougher test than 41st-ranked Emile Rousvuori in his opening match on Friday.

Alcaraz was on the verge of an early upset and won 2-6 6-4 6-2 over his Finnish opponent.

The Spanish teenager, who will turn 20 next week, saved five break points in a crucial game to stay level at 3-3 in the second set. In the next game, Alcaraz got his first break to take the second round match in his favor.

Alcaraz jokingly apologized to the partisan crowd for the close call.

“It wasn’t just scary for them, it was (scary) for me too,” Alcaraz said.

“I am just happy that I got this very difficult win. Maybe people think that I should win easily or not get into trouble in matches, but each match has its own world. It was a very tough match. Just to stay humble and accept the bad moments as they come and try to turn it around.”

On the women’s side, No. 1 Inga Swiatek defeated Austria’s Julia Grabar 6-3 6-2, the three-time Grand Slam winner converting three of five break chances.

Alcaraz, ranked No. 2, arrived after successfully defending his Barcelona Open title last weekend and moved closer to reclaiming the top spot in the world rankings from Novak Djokovic, who, like Rafael Nadal, pulled out due to injury. Are.

Rusuvuori defeats Alcaraz in 2021 on hard courts in Miami. Alcaraz won that tournament in Florida a year later and also won Barcelona and Madrid during a remarkable season that culminated in his US Open victory.

But Rusuvuori didn’t expect to give Alcaraz such a tough test on Madrid clay.

The result was still in doubt until Rusuvuori sent her backhand into the net and clinched her first service game of the third set. Alcaraz casts it to increase his advantage.

After defeating Gregoire Barrere 6-0 5-7 6-3, Alcaraz will next face Grigor Dimitrov.

Also, third seed Casper Rudd lost 6-3, 6-4 to qualifier Matteo Arnaldi of Italy.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev advanced after beating Stan Wawrinka 7-5 6-4 as the Monte Carlo winner improved to 9-1 on clay this year.

Also in the women’s tournament, third seed Jessica Pegula, a finalist in Madrid last year, defeated Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 7-6(5) 6-3.

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