Alcaraz upended by Korda in windy Monte-Carlo
The Miami champion suffered just his third defeat of the year
Carlos Alcaraz, the new star of men’s tennis, suffered a disappointing start to his clay-court season as he was beaten 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-3 by another rising star, American Sebastian Korda in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Masters.
The 18-year-old Miami champion had his chances – he served for the first set twice and led 2-0 in the decider but was eventually second-best as Korda triumphed in awkward, windy conditions at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.
“It feels nice…it was nice to get a victory today,” Korda said. “Just stayed calm, kind of believed in my returning, it was super tough to serve today. Super-happy with the way I handled myself today. It was a crazy match.”
Missed opportunities costly for Alaraz
When the week began, many people were looking ahead to a possible quarter-final clash between world No 1 Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz. But one day after the Serb’s defeat by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the Spaniard went the same way, suffering just his third loss of the year, after a battle lasting one minute over three hours.
The wind was especially tricky on Wednesday and both men struggled for rhythm but Alcaraz will kick himself for not taking his chances, especially in the first set when he served for it twice but could not close it out and was then outplayed in the tiebreak.
Alcaraz held firm to pinch the second set on the tiebreak and when he led 2-0 in the third, it looked like he would go on to win but Korda continued to attack, coming forward at every opportunity, winning 34 of 44 points at the net as he tried to take the wind out of the equation.
With Alcaraz struggling for rhythm, Korda won six of the next seven games to claim a big victory and take his place in the last eight.