Alcaraz Reaches His Maiden Second Week At Australian Open After Opponent Retires

Alcaraz Reaches His Maiden Second Week At Australian Open After Opponent Retires

by Erik Virostko

Carlos Alcaraz is into the second week at the 2024 Australian Open, after he advanced past Juncheng Shang.

The match against an 18-year-old Chinese opponent was a special one for the world no. 2. In his professional career on the ATP Tour, he has never faced a younger opponent, but that changed when he took on Shang, who is almost two years older than the Spaniard.

That's why it was expected that the two-time Grand Slam champion would have an upper hand in this match since he usually plays opponents who are older than him. And that ended up being right, but for different reasons.

Shang was a shadow of himself. The 18-year-old is a really talented player, but he couldn't show his fans at the Rod Laver Arena why he's one of the biggest talents coming from Asia, as he was struggling with an injury.

The injury prevented him to efficiently move around the tennis court, as Shang ended up spraying unforced errors left and right, committing a total of 25 in only 15 games of play.

For Alcaraz, on the other hand, it was a walk in the park. The Spanish player just returned the ball to the other side of the court, and even though he didn't play some sensational tennis, he didn't even have to.

After an hour of play, the reigning Wimbledon champion led 6-1, 6-1, and with the third set starting and chances of winning between zero and none, it was only a matter of time before Shang would retire.

Ultimately, he pushed through the first game, losing it, but made the decision in the following game, allowing Alcaraz to reach his maiden fourth round and second week at the Australian Open, after winning 6-1, 6-1, 1-0, with a retirement.

Up next, the 20-year-old won't face his nemesis, Tommy Paul, who managed to beat him on multiple occasions in the past. On the other hand, it will be a possible test for a final match, as he will face a Serbian.

Miomir Kecmanovic stunned the 14th-seeded Paul in five sets, and the Serbian will try to challenge the second seed at the Melbourne Park.

Carlos Alcaraz vs Juncheng Shang Match Stats:

Carlos Alcaraz Juncheng Shang
4 Aces 0
1 Double Faults 1
58% First Serve % 53%
86% (18/21) Points Won After First Serve % 52% (14/27)
87% (13/15) Points Won After Second Serve % 29% (7/24)
50% (6/12) Break Point Conversion 0% (0/0)
9 Winners 3
12 Unforced Errors 25


You may also like