Carlos Alcaraz claimed his fourth Masters 1000 title on Sunday, beating Jan-Lennard Struff in the Madrid Masters final. The 20-year-old is hungry for more, feeling good physically and entering the next week’s Rome Masters
World no. 2 will debut at Foro Italico and take the ATP throne away from Novak Djokovic after Rome, regardless of their results in the Italian capital. Carlos skipped Rome a year ago, while Novak won the title and 1000 ATP points.
Only five ATP points separate the world’s best players, and Alcaraz will become world no. 1 after Rome even if he loses in the second round and Djokovic defends the crown. Novak emerged at the top after Miami, as Alcaraz failed to defend the title.
Carlos did an excellent job in the last couple of weeks, keeping 1500 ATP points in Barcelona and Madrid and securing the no. 1 position ahead of Roland Garros. Alcaraz defended his title in Caja Magica following a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over a lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff in two hours and 25 minutes.
Carlos Alcaraz will compete in Rome and become world no. 1 after it.
The home favorite did not play at his best, but it was enough to overpower an aggressive rival and give the crowd something to cheer about. Alcaraz secured his tenth ATP title and became the second player with back-to-back Caja Magica crowns after his great compatriot Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard served at 70% and played better behind the second serve. He denied six out of eight break points and secured three return games from 11 opportunities, enough to carry him home. Carlos hit 19 winners and 31 unforced errors, and Jan-Lennard added 26 direct points and 33 mistakes.
The young gun had more service winners, although Struff forged the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes with his aggressive approach. Carlos erased the deficit in the mid-range rallies and earned his victory in that segment.
The German threw everything at the young gun, keeping the points on his tally and standing as a better rival after the opening two sets. Alcaraz prevailed in the opener after fending off three break points in the tenth game.
Jan-Lennard made a flying start in the second and brought it home from there to introduce a decider. The Spaniard saved a crucial break point in the third game and grabbed a break in the next one to make the difference. The home favorite served well in the last couple of games and held at love at 5-3 to emerge at the top.
Djokovic and Alcaraz will be the top seeds in Rome, entering the same tournament for the first time since the last year’s Paris Masters.