Alcaraz Advances At US Open After Koepfer Retires After Only An Hour

Alcaraz Advances At US Open After Koepfer Retires After Only An Hour

by Erik Virostko

Carlos Alcaraz is through to the second round of the 2023 US Open, but it wasn't the win that he wanted against Dominik Koepfer.

Tennis players are athletes, and every time they step into their arena, which is a tennis court, they want to win by outplaying their opponents. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case in the second match of the night session on the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Once the two stepped onto the court, there was a lot of excitement, especially because of Alcaraz's new sleeveless look. The top seed knows that he can't stay the world no. 1 after the tournament even if he wins, but he still wants to defend his title and win the tournament.

To do that, he needed to beat Koepfer, and while the expectations were high, they seemingly disappeared after only three minutes of play. The German player rolled his ankle, requested a medical timeout, and since that moment, it was clear that he wouldn't be able to continue for a very long time.

Playing in front of the packed Arthur Ashe Stadium during the night session brings some responsibility, especially after home crowd favourite Venus Williams lost the previous match, while winning only two games, and Koepfer felt it.

The German player didn't want to retire, and he talked about it also to the umpire in one of the exchanges during the changeover as he discussed his situation. From that moment, it was clear that Koepfer may soon retire, as his coach also seemed to agree with the decision.

"I'm trying not to retire after 20 minutes because of freaking 20,000 people in the stadium." 

After only 35 minutes, Alcaraz was able to comfortably win the first set 6-2, and since then, fans probably only expected the German to shake his opponent's hand and preserve his health. Koepfer kept trying, and it was really nice to see, as he didn't want to disappoint the fans, but at one point, he just couldn't, retiring at 2-6, 2-3 and sending the Spaniard through.

In the second round of the 2023 US Open, Alcaraz will play against Lloyd Harris from South Africa, who was able to beat Guido Pella in three sets in the opening round of the tournament.


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