Sebastian Korda defeats Alcaraz in young-blood battle
Sebastian Korda advanced to the third round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with his biggest win of the season, defeating #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 6-3.
Alcaraz, the world No. 11, arrived at Monte-Carlo in blistering form, having won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami. The 18-year-old, who was competing in his first clay-court tournament, was unable to cope with Sebastian Korda’s powerful hitting, variety, and the windy conditions on Court Rainier III.
With the wind causing errors and a few long rallies as the match progressed, the Americans came back from a breakdown in the third set. Korda avenged his loss to Alcaraz at the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals with his three-hour, one-minute victory.
First time competition of Sebastian Korda in Monte Carlo
Sebastian Korda is competing in Monte Carlo for the first time, having defeated Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round. After reaching the last eight at Delray Beach, the World No. 42 will face Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz or Croatian Marin Cilic in a bid to reach his second quarter-final of the season.
The 21-year-old has had success on clay before, winning his only tour-level victory on the surface last year in Parma. In the meantime, Alcaraz made history by becoming the youngest ATP 500 champion when he won the title on clay in Rio de Janeiro in February.
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A good show by Alcaraz and Sebastian Korda
Alcaraz and Sebastian Korda had to show good footwork to deal with the wind in a match between two of the Tour’s most interesting possibilities. Korda jumped off to a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Alcaraz soon found his stride, winning three straight games.
He was unable to serve out the set twice, as Korda replied with remarkable depth before leading the tie-break with more consistent tennis. In the second set, Korda showed his fighting spirit by rallying from a 3-0 deficit as both players struggled to find their range from the baseline in a topsy-turvy match. At 4-5, the American saved three set points on service, forcing the set to a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Alcaraz showed off his recent winning mentality, hanging in rallies and nailing drop shots to tie the game. In the third set, the cat-and-mouse game continued, with both players attempting to drag the other around the court with subtle touches. The match remained evenly matched until Korda broke to take a 5-3 lead in the deciding set. After that, the American triumphed.
The ultimate triumph by Sebastian Korda
Korda was able to take the initiative more often than Alcaraz, despite the unpredictability of the situation. According to the match’s Balance of Power, the American fired 28 percent of his shots from attacking positions, compared to 16 percent for the Spaniard.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas continued his clay-court dominance over World No. 10 Cameron Norrie on Court des Princes, winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a gripping battle of the lefties.
The Spaniard had won all three of his previous encounters with Norrie on the red dirt, and he made it four from four by holding off a furious comeback from the Brit to claim his eighth Top 10 victory in two hours and 31 minutes.
Sonego had only dropped two games en route to victory in the pair’s previous meeting in Rio de Janeiro in February, but he was unable to repeat the feat in Monaco. Djere defeated Karen Khachanov in the first round for the first time in three appearances in Monte Carlo, and he will now face defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.