Pundit claims Carlos Alcaraz’s defeat is ‘the biggest upset in tennis history’
Fabian Marozsan has sprinkled some much-needed context into the Carlos Alcaraz story.
While 20-year-old Alcaraz has earned the right to return to the top of the ATP Rankings next week and will head into the French Open as the top seed, Marozsan’s remarkable demolition of the hottest player in tennis will send shock waves through the game.
This was not a story of Alcaraz having a bad day or the Spaniard looking jaded after his wins in the clay court events in Barcelona and Madrid.
Instead, the Hungarian’s performance was as mind-blowing as it was brilliant, as stunning as it was unexpected as he beat Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) at Foro Italico.
You could have had whatever odds you required on world No 135 Marozsan beating Alcaraz in straight sets on a clay court, yet this was a crushing win that suggested the 23-year-old is a player to watch moving forward.
Marozsan’s drop shots were simply sensational, with his ability to drop the ball over the net with deadweight and take advantage of Alcaraz’s eagerness to stand well behind the baseline a blueprint other players might not follow against the Spaniard.
This one match does not mean the key has been found to Alcaraz, but Andy Murray’s former coach Mark Petchey suggested this result will instantly go down in tennis folklore.
“It’s got to be one of the biggest upsets we have seen in ATP Tour history, I really do,” Petchey told Amazon Prime.
“There may be others that people will point to, but from a point of view that he comes anonymously into the tournament to produce that kind of tennis is just about as impressive and surprising as it can be.
“Shellshock and super happy that this is a sport that can create moments like that and the uncertainty is there.”
When asked whether this defeat will dent Alcaraz’s French Open hopes, Petchey suggested this solitary setback will not a have a big impact.
“He wasn’t allowed to play well because Marozsan was so good,” he added. “The deceptive nature of his forehand took everyone by surprise. We didn’t think he could get through someone like Alcaraz. Intertwine that with the drop shot and it was astonishingly good.
“People may think he (Alcaraz) is a little more vulnerable in Paris, but this is an isolated brilliant performance from the Hungarian.”
Alcaraz was developing an aura of invincibility around himself heading into the French Open, but that has been shaken by this stunning defeat against Marozsan.
Yet a few days extra rest and practice on clay courts that may be more comparable to those he will play on at the French Open may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the bookies’ favourite.
Meanwhile, we will have to wait a little longer for the showdown between Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz.
Maybe the French Open final is the venue for the ultimate showdown in tennis for 2023.
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