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‘Carlos is a cross between Nadal and Federer’ – Alcaraz’s next opponent, Bagnis

Bagnis faces Alcaraz on Friday at the Miami Open

Carlos Alcaraz Carlos Alcaraz defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells (Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic)

Carlos Alcaraz faces Facundo Bagnis in the Miami Open round of 64 on Friday – and the Argentinian knows his opponent’s style pretty well.

They’ve met on the Challenger circuit as well as the tour, and the Spaniard has won all three of their encounters so far, including their first meeting three years ago in Cordenons, when he was only 17.

“I remember that I didn’t play so well… the match was tight, but in the moment that I finished I said I had the opportunity to beat him,” Bagnis said to the official ATP website. “One year after, I said okay, this time was a little bit farther, that level. In the moment that we arranged practice at different tournaments, every tournament you can feel how he improved step by step.”

He added: “I remember in Cordenons that I said his serve was not so good. Right now I cannot say the same thing. He has so much talent. His speed and he plays amazing shots in all the court…I think Carlos is a combination between Nadal and Federer, maybe.”

Bagnis: Alcaraz’s tennis is magic

Unsurprisingly, the older man remembers Alcaraz on that initial occasion as a much smaller prospect, describing him as “a little bit more skinny or maybe did not have so much power”, but the biggest change he’s noticed in the new world No 1 is in his mentality.

“I think the key for him is the way that he competes on the court. His attitude, it’s amazing. Every time he’s celebrating with his bench. Every time he shows the best possible attitude. For me that is one of the best, toughest things in tennis,” Bagnis said. “That he can do it at only 19 years is amazing. Another part is his tennis is magic, it’s amazing. But his attitude and mentality is so strong, also.

“I think Carlos is most similar to a killer. You cannot breathe. He’s attacking you all the time. He has so many shots and tricks.”

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