The Murcian, who could not take advantage of any of the seven ‘break’ opportunities, will return to earth to play the tournaments in Hamburg and Umag
It was the party of the present but above all of the future. Carlos Alcaraz (19 years old) against Jannik Sinner (20) meant the youngest duel in the round of 16 at Wimbledon since 1985 . Then Boris Becker overtook Henri Leconte.
Sinner was more like Becker at the center back of the All England Club because his tennis was better adapted to the characteristics of a habitat where only three weeks of play are played per season.
The Spaniard could not do the filming he expected on the grass because of the elbow , which forced him to drop out of Queen’s and play his four games in the British tournament with spectacular protection .
Carlitos was on the verge of becoming the thirteenth member of the ‘Armada’ in the top eight at Wimbledon . But he will have more opportunities. Sinner, on the other hand, is already the sixth Italian in the penultimate round thanks to a result of 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(8) and 6-3 . A crossed right signed the sentence.
Beyond Jannik’s victory, Carlos once again showed that he is an example of chivalry when he became interested in his rival after sliding down the green carpet . They even bumped fists with him.
Alcaraz, in his debut as a professional on the centenary court , was more threatening from the return than his rival, but he was unable to transform that into break balls.
In fact, it was his opponent who created the first break option in the fourth game. He took advantage of it because Carlitos had a drop left on the net .
The Italian, immaculate in service, had a highway to score the initial sleeve. He shot the score up to 6-1. His had been the last five games .
After the defeat of Heather Watson, the last British woman in the women’s competition, the center’s stands had remained soulless, silent. The fans seemed to be attending an opera.
It was a tennis match and Sinner had gone from dominating to dominating. He still does not have the muscles and power of others, but he makes up for it with his refined technique and cleanliness at the moment of hitting the ball .
Inopportune slips were added to the tennis problems of Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil. His opponent played a meter inside the track and that allowed him to dominate from the first exchange .
Alcaraz showed flashes of his quality with rights that were impossible to counter. But he was more irregular and that was reflected in the scoring.
A double fault to start the second set was a bad omen for the player from El Palmar. The remains of the winner pointed directly at the feet of Carlitos .
“Let’s go,” shouted the Murcian after winning the first point of the second game, once he had already given the serve for the third time. He had his moment with the first break ball and Sinner concocted a forehand to the white line .
The transalpine no longer showed the inspiration of the beginning, but he was able to chain seven games. The fifth favorite stopped the bloodletting with 2-1 . Sinner did not want confidence because he had lost the two precedents with the Murcian.
This season’s four-time champion took the lead early in the third set and wanted to see the glass half full . He was ready to play a five-set match for the seventh time. The occasion and the place were worth the attempt. He is a winner and he showed it by showing his fist to his team.
The promising Martín Landaluce , who had debuted with victory in the junior team, took note from the Murcian box. Albert Molina is the representative of both in the multinational IMG.
Alcaraz’s dream at Wimbledon continued after scoring sudden death on the fourth attempt. The stands and he were one.
Opportunity to rejoin
It remained to be seen how Sinner was going to respond, to whom everything had gone to his face. The Italian, untouchable on serve until then, suffered to add his games. Carlitos missed two breakage opportunities in the first game that sounded decisive . They were so because their opponent returned to the scene immediately after taking advantage of a double fault.
The 4-1 seemed insurmountable for almost anyone . Not for the number one of the future, that he fought and ran until he gave him breath. He even saved four elimination balls and had the net against him by spitting a forehand that was 5-4.
The two weeks in London have been a good lesson and he will come back stronger in the next edition. Rafael Nadal needed two previous appearances before standing in the 2006 final.
The consequence of the defeat of the young member of the ‘Armada’ is that Nadal and Paula Badosa are left alone in the box . Sinner awaits the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic and unknown Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven .
back to earth
Alcaraz will have a busy schedule this July before facing the American hard court tour with the Masters 1,000 in Montreal and Cincinnati, before the US Open.
And it is that he will be the first favorite in the Open 500 in Hamburg (July 18 to 24) and Umag (25 to 31) . In both cases on clay. He will have valuable points at stake that can bring him even closer to the Turin Masters Cup.