Alcaraz raises the level towards eighths

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates his victory over Brooksby with his fists. / AFP

third round

The Murcian, aggressive and precise against Bookksby, repeats his presence in this tie at the US Open

Carlos Alcaraz needed a game like this to start seeing himself as a candidate for this US Open. An aggressive match, in which he was able to dominate, in which he knew that the initiative was in his racket and in which he clearly defeated a dangerous tennis player like Jenson Brooksby (6-3, 6-3 and 6-3) to advance to the round of 16 of the New York tournament.

Alcaraz, with a list of 43 winning shots, gave a recital in his third straight match on the Arthur Ashe, the center court of the US Open. It was an exhibition of power by the Murcian, who came from two irregular first rounds, with many doubts against tennis players inferior to him, and who got rid of the ghosts with his best performance in New York to date.

A meeting that revealed the great weapons that the tennis player from El Palmar has and that helped him to dismantle a Brooksby who has the label of being one of the most desperate tennis players on the circuit. It was not in vain that he landed in this third round after eliminating one of the tournament's underdogs, Croatian Borna Coric, recent champion at the Masters 1,000 in Cincinnati. Coric complained bitterly in his loss about the continued celebrations of the American, who had no time to pump his fist against an unleashed Alcaraz.

The Murcian, with a very clear plan, chose to overwhelm the American based on 'winners'. Failing was allowed, because the objective was not to give Brooksby excessive pace and not find the tennis with which he is comfortable; that of passing balls from the bottom and always holding one more ball. Alcaraz committed up to 33 unforced errors, too many in any other scenario, but necessary in a match like the one that Brooksby was going to raise.

By attacking, Alcaraz broke his rival's resistance from the first bars and completed an hour and a half of practically perfect tennis. He only had a disconnection midway through the second set that cost him a serve, but which he fixed in the next game and sped up to print a 6-3 double. He had the game under control and started the third quarter with 40-15 on serve. It was there that he had another short circuit, this time more serious, since he lost three games in a row, with a run of twelve points to one.

Brooksby's 3-0, which was also staged in an audience eager for the game to go on, was a warning for Alcaraz to wake up. And he did it without hesitation. He got the hand back immediately and started scratching games one by one until he neutralized the American's advantage.

Alcaraz did not stop with 3-3. His resurgence continued from there and until adding a 6-0 run with which he closed the game. Along the way he left some of the best points of the match and a very sweet aftertaste that restores his confidence for the most important stages of the tournament. For the second time in his career, the Murcian will be in the second week of the US Open and will aspire to, at least, equal the quarterfinals of last year.

Alcaraz's next rival will come from the duel between the Croatian Marin Cilic, whom he recently beat in Cincinnati, and the British Dan Evans, whom he has defeated in their only confrontation, last year in Vienna.

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