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Carlos Alcaraz kicks off title defense

  • Post category:Tennis

World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz returned to action in Buenos Aires last week, playing his first tournament of the season. The young Spaniard clinched his seventh ATP title and gathered a boost ahead of Rio de Janeiro, where he claimed the crown a year ago.

Carlos needed two days to pass the opening obstacle in Brazil, ousting world no. 556 Mateus Alves 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 56 minutes

. They left the court on Tuesday when Alcaraz led 6-4, 5-3 and continued on Wednesday. The Spaniard sealed the deal to emerge at the top and reach the second round.

The lower-ranked player fought well and kept world no. 2 on the court for almost two hours. Carlos came from a break down in the opener and stole the rival’s serve twice in the second set to emerge at the top.

Carlos Alcaraz is through to the second round in Rio.

The Spaniard kept the points on his racquet and hit 31 winners and 30 unforced errors.

Alves had more service winners but sprayed 25 unforced errors to plague his chances. The home favorite held with a service winner in the encounter’s first game and forced Alcaraz’s mistake in the next one for a break at love and 2-0.

Carlos got his name on the scoreboard with a hold at love in game three and cracked a forehand down the line winner a few minutes later for a hold at love and 2-2. Alves denied a break point in the seventh game before Alcaraz converted the second with a forehand down the line winner for a 4-3 advantage.

The Spaniard held after deuces in game eight to cement the advantage and served for the opener at 5-4. Alcaraz fired a forehand crosscourt winner to bring the set home and move closer to the finish line. The rivals traded breaks in the second set’s games five and six ahead of the marathon game seven.

Mateus defended four break points before Carlos seized the fourth with a deep return to move 4-3 in front and closer to the finish line. The Spaniard cemented the lead with a hold at love in game eight before the rain sent them off the court and moved the match to the next day.

Alves grabbed the ninth game to prolong the duel before Carlos moved over the top with a forehand down the line winner in game ten for a place in the second round.

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