Carlos Alcaraz sounds warning with demolition of Lorenzo Musetti
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz cruised past Lorenzo Musetti in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 fourth-round French Open win that underlined his position as the tournament favourite.
Alcaraz came roaring back after dropping the opening two games of the match and would win 18 of the next 23 as he battered his way into the quarter-finals.
Alcaraz entered his second consecutive quarterfinal at the Roland Garros tournament by purposefully drilled the ball off both wings from the baseline and regularly showcased his deft touch at the net when brought forward.
Musetti had defeated Alcaraz on clay in their lone prior encounter in the Hamburg final in July 2022.
However, despite getting out to a strong start on Court Philippe-Chatrier, he never appeared poised to duplicate that performance.
Alcaraz bested Musetti 42 to 17 in terms of winners hit and converted seven of his fourteen break points to set up a quarter-final matchup with either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Sebastian Ofner.
“I think I played such a great level,” said Alcaraz in his on-court interview. “A really high quality of shots, playing really aggressive. I think I played a really complete match, [from the] first ball to the last one, and I’m really happy to get through this really tough round against Lorenzo.”
Alcaraz insists that thoughts of being No 1 and the tournament favourite do not occupy his mind on the court.
“I try not to think about the No. 1 [spot], the pressure, [whether] I am one of the main favourites to win the tournament,” said Alcaraz, when asked how he handles the pressures that success brings. “I try to put all those thoughts outside my mind.
“I just try to play tennis, to enjoy, and try to smile all the time. This is the key for everything for me, trying to enjoy, trying to make impossible shots, trying to make the people enjoy watching the tennis. This is all I think about during the match.”
His strong performance may be seen as a warning to the rest of the field that he is prepared to bring his best level to his Roland Garros championship campaign in light of Musetti’s triumph in Hamburg and the fact that the Italian had not dropped a set in his first three matches in Paris.
The World No 1 bested Denis Shapovalov and Musetti and dropped just seven games after losing a set to Taro Daniel in the second round.
Alcaraz can ill-afford to get ahead of himself in pursuit of the Roland Garros title.
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