Alcaraz Stunningly Wins 11 Of Last 12 Games To Triumph After Losing Epic Opening Set

Alcaraz Stunningly Wins 11 Of Last 12 Games To Triumph After Losing Epic Opening Set

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Carlos Alcaraz eventually managed to assert his authority over Matteo Arnaldi after the pair produced an outstanding opening set at the Indian Wells Open.

The defending Indian Wells champion has not won a tournament since his incredible run to the Wimbledon title last July. By his incredibly high standards, that is a long time to wait for some silverware.

The path to retaining his Indian Wells crown was unlikely to always be easy. In fact, Andy Roddick predicted that it would be a struggle for Alcaraz to defend the title.

In addition, Alcaraz recently answered questions about a possible ankle injury. The fans in California were very pleased to see him grace the Indian Wells courts, especially after Rafael Nadal withdrew from the event.

Roddick's prediction about it being difficult for Alcaraz to defend his title came true in the first set against Arnaldi. After an epic opening set between the pair, Alcaraz managed to show his superority.

Arnaldi showed he was not intimidated by the world No. 2 in the first set. He went toe-to-toe with Alcaraz, unleashing some ferocious forehands. The Spaniard also did this, making it a high-quality affair.

After saving a break point earlier in the set, Alcaraz did claim the first break in the seventh game, But this did not deter Arnaldi. The Italian broke straight back in the following game to level the score again at 4-4.

The 12th game was an epic one. Alcaraz managed to save a set point and produced more trademark hitting and athleticism to take the set to a tiebreaker, which was fitting after the quality produced.

Arnaldi raced into a 5-2 lead, but it seemed like he may have thrown it away when Alcaraz got it back to 5-5. However, a surprising miss at 5-5 by the Spaniard and then an amazing rally won by Arnaldi saw him take a superb opening set 7-6.

Sadly for fans of the Italian, he could not sustain that level, while Alcaraz got even better. He began to hit winners from all areas of the court. By contrast, Arnaldi's forehand, which was such a weapon in the first set, began to leak unforced errors.

Alcaraz was utterly ruthless in the second set. He played close to a perfect set of tennis to win the set 6-0, with a third set being needed to decide the winner.

The two-time Grand Slam champion simply did not let up. Two holds of serve and another break gave him a 3-0 lead, which meant he had won 11 games in a row. Arnaldi was then greeted with a huge cheer when he managed to hold to make it 3-1.

That was as good as it got for the Italian. He was visibly struggling in the rallies towards the end of the match and Alcaraz eased over the finishing line. Two exceptional final sets from Alcaraz meant he progressed after a 6-7 6-0 6-1 victory.


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