In less than 24 hours, two posh hair. From Rafael Nadal to Novak Djokovic. From giant to giant. And history, lots of history. At 19 years and two days old, Carlos Alcaraz (6-7(5), 7-5 and 7-6(5) is leaving Madrid’s central court, already the youngest tennis player to beat the two giants ( He was preceded by the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas), the first to do it on clay and the fifth to achieve it on successive days after David Nalbandian (2007), Andy Roddick (2008), Nikolai Davydenko (2009) and Roger Federer (2010). He is also the youngest finalist in the Caja Mágica, who bellows, cheers and enjoys after 3 hours and 35 minutes of true frenzy.
Djokovic’s resistance, increasingly recognizable and closer to consolidating his return, has not detracted at all. However, the number one does not resist the avalanche either. The Alcaraz thing is quite a coup. After conquering his first Godó, he will break into his second consecutive final on clay this Sunday (6:30 p.m., La 1 and Movistar) – against Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev, summoned tonight at the other crossroads – and redraw the stage ahead of Roland Garros: Waiting for Nadal to fully recover and for the Serbian to finish rising, there is no player or candidate more in shape than him.
What is promised is debt, and Alcaraz had made a declaration of intent the previous afternoon, after getting Nadal down. He guaranteed Murcian daring and playing to win, and he respected the ideology by heart. From start to finish, without exception or truce. He will be able to win or fall, but he will do it being true to himself because he does not conceive of another way to compete. Always forward, not a step back. That’s how he understands it, it’s his nature. He approached the one from Belgrade with all his arsenal and launched one ordeal after another, from whiplash to whiplash, challenge to challenge in each rally. Fist up, left after left, without fear or fear. Ladies and gentlemen of tennis, here I am, he came to say again.
From you to you against the rubber man, who tried to lead the duel where he was most interested; that is to say, entanglement and gibberish, putting the boy in the labyrinth and trying to make him dizzy from making him think so much, trying to destabilize him with recurrent changes of directions, rhythms and speeds, raising the ball towards infinity so that during the trajectory Alcaraz would think more than he convenient in who was in front of me: here I am, Carlitos; yes, it’s me, the one you followed on TV until recently. The one who sends Nole knows them all, you old fox now. The reiterative hierarchical formula of the giants.
The net, an abrasive tactic
The number one was barricaded in the bottom line and from there he began to manufacture and tighten, to weave that spider web that has trapped so many prey. He had a slip as soon as he started, but he corrected and began to impose a corrosive proposal that was giving him revenue, and at the end of the first set he weighed more. Djokovic imposed his cruising speed and his solidity with the service –up to 21 points in a row, he signed–, although he had to finish off the bite in the tie-breaker, which ended with a loud cry. The celebration was followed by a reprimand from the Madrid stands, chosen the day before by Nadal. This time there was no doubt.
“Chaaaaarlos, Caaaaarlos, Caaaaarlos!”, repeatedly chanted the Caja Mágica. “Yes-you-can, yes-you-can, yes-you-can!” Added the central public to the list. He responded to Alcaraz with an even more radical attack, inviting the Serb to a constant challenge on the net. The Serb accepted the challenge, but he was wrong. He agreed to an abrasive Nole territory because in the pulse of swordsmen, the Spanish found a gold mine: 18 hits in 23 climbs to the net, for the 14 in 29 of the Balkan. Thus he redesigned the Alcaraz match and thus, with that coldness, that courage and that imagination that he has, he sealed the second set: backhand countershot. A house brand.
The Magic Box exploded. And hand in hand, he continued to gain voltage in the duel, increasingly intense and more tachycardic, without giving up one or the other. Djokovic resisted ex officio, but the Murcian’s slaps (50 winners, by 29) ended up tilting fortune in his favor. Tremendous thing on that right. A cannon, pure poison. Unparalleled right now. The Serbian reacted to the first extreme situation with a ace and then he continued to put out fires, combining errors with his precision with the serve. However, he was unable to contain the latest onslaught and the dispute was settled at the photo finishdoing justice to a magnificent afternoon of tennis in which Alcaraz multiplied his message: he goes with everything for everything.
#cyclonic #Alcaraz #tilts #Djokovic #Madrid