Tennis News: Carlos Alcaraz, a Spanish adolescent, gets tamed by a former world No. 1 in Indian Wells

Tennis News
Source: Skysports

Tennis News: Andy Murray advanced to the last 32 of the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells on Sunday after a physically gruelling match against highly touted Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz.

Murray had projected the 18-year-old as a future world No. 1, but it was the veteran Scot who prevailed 5-7 6-3 6-2 in nearly three hours in the desert heat.

“He’s obviously got so much potential, so much firepower, and it’s not easy to finish points off quickly in these conditions, but he’s able to do so because he has so much pace from the back of the court, so I had to fight extremely hard, coming back from a set down,” Murray said in an on-court interview.

“I thought he performed better in the second set. First set, I felt like I had more opportunities but didn’t take them, so overall, I’m pleased with how I battled. He’s a first-rate young player.”

Alcaraz, who came into the forefront by reaching the quarterfinals of this year’s US Open, rallied from a double-break deficit.

An error by Alcaraz gave Murray a set point at 5-4, but the Spaniard rebounded with a huge serve and broke Murray again before serving out.

At the start of the second set, Murray resorted to increasingly desperate efforts to control his opponent’s scorching groundstrokes, saving a breakpoint before sealing the set with an audacious underarm ace.

The World No. 121, who needed a wild card to get into the main draw, saved two break points in an 11-minute service game and capitalised quickly, putting pressure on the Spaniard, who netted with an uncharacteristically poor backhand to fall 4-2 adrift.

It was no surprise that Murray was had to work to serve out the set in such a tightly fought match, but he duly did it, in the end, to push their fight to a decider.

Fears that the 34-year-old Scot might fade first were unwarranted, as Murray broke again at the opening of the third set, then won another 10-minute service game to extend his lead.

After three hours and four minutes, Murray effectively sealed a vitally momentous victory with a double break.

Murray told Mark Petchey for Amazon Prime Video that the victory was one of his greatest since hip resurfacing surgery two years ago.

“It was a gruelling contest with extremely difficult conditions,” he remarked. “I believe I should have won the opening set.” I had numerous opportunities but did not take them. It would have been easy to let the match slip away from me, but I fought hard and ended strong.

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