Monday, 8 May 2023
Carlos Alcaraz will arrive at Roland Garros later this month as world tennis number two after a hard-fought victory over veteran Jan-Lennard Struff (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) in 2 hours and 25 minutes helped him to claim his second successive victory in the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday.
In doing so, the 20-year-old from Murcia became only the second player, after Rafael Nadal, to win back-to-back titles at the Caja Mágica stadium in Spain's capital.
Alcaraz enjoyed a dream start to the match, breaking "lucky loser" Struff’s serve in the first game. The veteran German, 33, fought back to return the favour in the fourth but the Spaniard produced another break and closed the set 6-4.
In the second set, Struff’s aggressive returns helped him to a 3-0 lead, which he ultimately took 6-3.
However, the young Spaniard, fresh off his victory in Barcelona, came to life in the third set, breaking to lead 3-1 and taking the set 6-3.
"Today I enjoyed it at times. There were some difficult moments. Nerves sometimes got the better of me but I think I enjoyed it more than I suffered today," said Alcaraz who, marking Mothers' Day in Spain, added: "That's for you, mum!"
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