“What I would give to be 18 years old again,” confesses the Scotsman after winning the young Murcian in Indian Wells, who went from more to less in the duel
Andy Murray also portends a bright future for Carlos Alcaraz, whom he beat on Sunday in California in his first head-to-head. After the meeting, the former world number one wanted to praise the young tennis player from El Palmar, who he said “is a special talent” and that “it was a pleasure to share the court with him today. Against a player like Carlos I knew I would have to endure long rallies and I think my level has been good, but I can do much better, “said the Scotsman.
He also referred to the youth of the Murcian. “What I would give to be 18 again,” he joked. «It was not easy against Carlos. It was very hot and the track was incredibly slow. The balls after a couple of games are also extremely slow. It was a good victory against a boy who has a special talent ”, insisted Murray, who will see them in the third round with the German Alexander Zverev, number 4 of the ATP.
Midway through the second set, Murray surprised everyone by getting an ‘ace’ serving below, something that had never been seen in competition, as he himself confirmed. “I had never done it before, but with the tracks so slow it was almost impossible to get free points on serve. He started subtracting inside, but as the game progressed he delayed his position to the rest so I thought it would be a good idea to try. I did not expect to get a direct serve, but it seems to me that strategically it is a good idea to do it when your opponent is far behind the baseline, “he explained.
Be that as it may, it is a painful defeat for Carlos Alcaraz, who was eliminated at the first change in his debut at Indian Wells, a Masters 1000 that he had never played and in which he aspired to repeat his good role last month in the US Open, when it reached the quarterfinals. However, Murray, at 34 years old, is still determined to show that he has returned to the circuit to fight and that he is still there to compete face to face with anyone. The one who was number 1 in the world in 2016 and winner of Wimbledon and the US Open pulled veteran in the decisive moments of the match to overcome an imprecise Alcaraz.
Murray started better, who went 0-3 as soon as he started. But then we saw the best version of the Murcian, very energetic and daring from the back of the track. Thus, little by little, Alcaraz turned the situation around, who took the first set (7-5), after even lifting a set ball.
The party in El Palmar had controlled. But he disconnected when he shouldn’t have and thought the job was done in a second set in which Murray, without pressure, began to land good shots and score a lot of points. Alcaraz began to make many mistakes, he left the game and saw how the second set was for his rival (3-6). Murray claimed that second set with just two winners.
The third set was a torture for Alcaraz, unable to take advantage of two break balls in the first game. The Murcian was diluted, increasingly frustrated. And that made Murray grow, a tennis player who always became strong in melee and whose resilience is well known on the circuit. Alcaraz ended up playing badly and that made it easier for Murray, who closed the game at the first (2-6). Now, the Murcian focuses on preparing the last events of the year: Paris Bercy, the Next Gen ATP Finals and the Davis Cup.
Ramos and Carreño go to the third round
Albert Ramos and Pablo Carreño were the two Spaniards who managed to qualify for the third round of the Indian Wells Masters 1,000, a tournament to which, in addition to Carlos Alcaraz, both Garbiñe Muguruza and Pedro Martínez said goodbye. Brilliant was the victory of Albert Ramos, who was able to defeat Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, world number 11, 6-4 and 6-2 in one hour and 17 minutes of play. Now he will face the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, number 36 of the ATP. Meanwhile, Carreño easily beat Ecuadorian Emilio Gómez 6-1, 6-4. In the third round, Russian Karen Khachanov awaits him.