One more victory and one less game to return to see the best level of Carlos Alcaraz who is greasing the machine more and more. He has already achieved one of his two main goals on this American hard court tour: securing number one for the US Open defense. The second was to recover his tennis, which is getting closer as the matches go by, but which he will have the opportunity to seal in his fifth Masters 1000 final. He did it after another agonizing match with a comeback through, this time against an incredible Hubert Hurkacz (20th in the ranking) who burst the ball with his serve and had a match point; but Carlitos held on to the court, he knew how to suffer as he is used to and finished off in a third set full of conviction and good play.
The start of the first semifinal was a synthesis of Alcaraz’s version these days in America: he missed two break balls in the first game and in the next game he broke his pole. Hurkacz came out firm and in 9 minutes he was 3-0. The result did not do the game justice because the number one quickly connected with his right, the one that disappeared in Toronto and had a hard time appearing in Cincinnati. But Hubert’s serve gave him no chance, he is the player on the circuit with the most aces this season (747 before the game), and he moved around the court with ease, forgetting his 1.96 height.
Alcaraz fought, roared and returned that number one Carlitos, who already has 53 victories this season. But Hurkacz did not slow down, with unstoppable serves and deep shots that drove the Spaniard unhinged and he took the first set: 6-2 in 40 minutes.
“What I tell you, do the opposite”
“The first set was much closer than it seems,” Ferrero reminded him from the stands. Making his pupil see that the game was correct, that this was the path to a comeback, despite the fact that the Pole didn’t even flinch because he kept making serves without stopping and impossible to guess. He even tried to help Ferrero but he wasn’t right either. “Open to the right” and he would take you out to the other side. “He’s going to take you to the left” and the service went to the right. The situation became comical and Ferrero gave up: “What I tell you, do the opposite,” the former tennis player said with a laugh, showing his great connection with an Alcaraz much more relaxed than the previous days.
The Pole’s match was being excellent because in addition to his serve, with an average speed of 210 kilometers per hour, he was able to hit everything Alcaraz proposed, hit harder and even encouraged himself with drop shots. Carlitos had no choice but to shake his hand at the great game he was playing. The only escape route for the Murcian was to continue being decisive with his serve and seek inspiration from the rest. But he slipped and, down 5-4, Hurkacz set up the rest of a match point that he did not materialize.
The scare passed but everything was decided in the tie break against a player more inspired than ever who, coincidentally, is one of the best servers on the circuit. An almost impossible mission for any player except for the man from El Palmar, who even recovered from a 4-1 defeat in the tiebreaker and took the second set in a true exercise in survival.
Now yes, the game entered Alcaraz territory while Hurkacz only made him regret the great missed opportunity. The match changed course and the Pole went from being a rock to fading over the course of the set. The Murcian broke and for the first time in the game he took the lead, broke free and finished off the game 2-6, 7-6(4) and 6-3 after two hours and 19 minutes against an incredible Hurkacz who did it all Well, he even failed at the key moment. The Spaniard, with the number one already secured for New York, will play his eighth final of the season and will fight to win his fifth Masters 1000.
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