Domination – High-flying Alcaraz drops two games in Miami opener

Nearly 3,000 miles from the scene of his recent Indian Wells title run, Carlos Alcaraz kept his momentum rolling with a dominant win in Miami.

Carlos Alcaraz 2023 Miami Open | AI / Reuters / Panoramic AI / Reuters / Panoramic
Miami Open presented by Itau •Second round • completed
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Blink and you missed it. If you thought Carlos Alcaraz might have trouble picking up where he left off this week in Miami, nearly 3,000 miles away from the scene of his Indian Wells triumph, think again. The Spaniard was dialed in from start to finish as he zoomed past 33-year-old Argentinian Facundo Bagnis, 6-0, 6-2 in a cool 64 minutes on Friday afternoon in Hard Rock Stadium.

Alcaraz, who will face either Maxime Cressy or Dusan Lajovic in the third round at the Miami Open, improves to 15-1 on the season and 7-1overall at Miami.

A torrid start

Alcaraz needed just 23 minutes to blast through the opening set against the world No 100, and he didn’t drop a single point on serve in the set (12/12). In total, the Spaniard won 27 of 34 points in set one.

“I knew that I had to be focused,” he said after his victory over the 33-year-old. “First match in a new tournaments is not easy, with different conditions and everything. I have to be ready to get used to it. I was really focused from the beginning so I am just happy with the way that I played and I will try to improve every day.”

The world No 1 was challenged a bit more in the second set, as Bagnis finally got on the board after dropping the first eight games of the match (see his reaction below), then registered a break to level up at 2-all. Alcaraz quickly recovered, sweeping through the final four games to lock up his victory.

Alcaraz finished with 12 winners against 11 unforced errors and six breaks of serve from 11 opportunities.

Bagnis only managed three winners against 17 unforced errors – the Argentine was only able to win 17 of 48 points on serve against Alcaraz.

Alcaraz – I am a guy who adapts

Even though it is hard to imagine a higher level from Alcaraz, the Spanish teen insists that he’ll get better with each passing day in Miami, as he continues to acclimate himself to the humidity and faster conditions in play.

“The court is faster, there is more humidity here, it’s a little bit tougher to get used to, in a short period of days – for me it’s a totally different tournament,” he said. “I would say I am a guy who adapts himself very well to the conditions, but yes, it’s tough.”

Bidding for Sunshine Double

Alcaraz is bidding to become the eighth man in ATP history to claim the coveted Sunshine Double at Miami. If he can achieve the feat he will join the following players on the list:

  • Jim Courier, 1991
  • Michael Chang, 1992
  • Pete Sampras, 1994
  • Marcelo Rios, 1998
  • Andre Agassi, 2001
  • Roger Federer, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Novak Djokovic, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016

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