Alcaraz Weathers Musetti Storm To Reach Third Conesecutive Miami Open Quarterfinal

Alcaraz Weathers Musetti Storm To Reach Third Conesecutive Miami Open Quarterfinal

by Erik Virostko

Carlos Alcaraz has been in a league of his own over the past few weeks, and the same was true in his fourth-round match at the 2024 Miami Open.

Taking Lorenzo Musetti was never going to be easy for the Spaniard, especially after the Italian produced a great performance to outplay Ben Shelton. Still, Alcaraz was the player who entered the match on an eight-match winning streak, and he showed why no one was able to beat him at the Sunshine Double.

The world no. 2 struggled with confidence during a run that saw him go without a trophy for over six months. That run ended in Indian Wells, and he entered the Miami Open with restored self-belief.

After easily outplaying Roberto Carballes Baena, and then also navigating a challenge against Gael Monfils, the top seed in Miami wanted to write a proper exclamation point behind his recent rivalry with Musetti, who stunned him in the 2022 Hamburg Open final.

Alcaraz won both of their matches without losing a set after that. In this match, Musetti wasn't able to find any answers to his opponent's questions once again, even though he had very solid moments early on.

Still, the Italian player started the match on the back foot, losing his serve in the opening game of the match and trailing ever since. The Spanish player had two break points to go up 5-2 in the seventh game but inspired Musetti saved both.

Throughout the first set, the two-time major winner kept altering his return position on the opponent's first serve, as that varied from standing almost in the stands to returning close to the baseline.

So when Alcaraz had two more chances to break in the ninth game, he used his incredible speed to his advantage when chasing down a ball at the net, which turned into a used set point chance, as he won the first set 6-3.

The 20-year-old started the second set with a solid hold, firing one forehand around his opponent after another. Yet, only a couple of games later, the reigning Wimbledon champion made two consecutive unforced errors, allowing his opponent to have his first break point of the match.

But in a classic Alcaraz style, he saved it with a powerful serve + forehand combo, holding yet another serve. At times, Musetti was able to keep up, but he kept misfiring just too much, and that ultimately cost him a chance to fight for a win in this match.

The Italian struggled too much, often discussing with his box, while showing signs of frustration, finding it impossible to create any solutions for problems that his opponent was presenting.

A few games later, it was once again the Spaniard's speed that helped him to convert one of his break points, and as a result, he enjoyed a 4-2 lead in the second set, looking to finish the match early.

But surprisingly, he wasn't able to do that. The man from Murcia played a very loose game, losing the break advantage immediately after gaining it, giving his opponent a chance to stay in the match.

The best of the best respond when it matters, and that's exactly what the highest-ranked player at the event did in the following game. The Spanish player was able to immediately break back and earn a chance to serve for the match.

This time around, he had no problems serving out the match, as Alcaraz won it 6-3, 6-3, reaching the third consecutive Miami Open quarter-final, awaiting the winner of the match between Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz.


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