This is the sensation of the day. Carlos Alcaraz, who is assured of becoming the world’s number one next week, was ousted Monday at the Rome Masters 1000 by Fabian Marozsan in two sets (6-3, 7-6 [7-4]) after an hour and 40 minutes of play. In what was the biggest match of his career, the Hungarian, who came from the qualifiers, came to the end of the Spaniard thanks to his lucidity and powerful winning shots.
For the Spaniard, it was time to turn the match around. But the 135th player in the world held his ground when one might have expected a drop in his consistency and accuracy. Marozsan always stayed one step ahead of his opponent and kept control of the match. Efficient volleys, precise groundstrokes, repeated winners… the Hungarian showed all his skills and forced Alcaraz to play a tie-break to stay in the match.
“I felt great physically (which was not the case in his final in Rio in February against Cameron Norrie, his only other clay court loss in 2023, Editor’s note). I was just uncomfortable on the court because of him. He was aggressive and played inside the court all the time. It was hard for me to get into the match, into the backcourt battle. I made a lot of mistakes that I don’t usually make,” said the world No. 2 in a press conference. These days can happen in tennis, and you have to deal with them. In the second set, I was not far away, I had opportunities but I did not take them. He was at the same level all the time on his side, he deserved the win. He surprised me a lot. His level was really, really high and I’m sure he’s going to get into the top 100 very, very soon. If he plays at this level, he will surprise many,” said Alcaraz, who was not sparing in his praise for his opponent.
After winning the tournament in Madrid, the future world number one walked out of the last tournament before the French Open (May 28-June 11), ending his 12-match winning streak. The long-awaited match between Serbian Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz in the final of the Rome Masters 1000 will not take place. This is an opportunity for the Spaniard to make some adjustments before the Grand Slam in Paris, where, despite this defeat, he will be among the favorites to try to succeed his compatriot Rafael Nadal, still uncertain.
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