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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Alcaraz starts Miami Masters defense with quick victory

Carlos Alcaraz, the fiery number one tennis player from Spain, kicked off his Miami Masters 1000 title defense with a quick victory against Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis. The 19-year-old Alcaraz, who is known for his flamboyant style, defeated Bagnis, 33, with a score of 6-0 and 6-2 in just over an hour of play.

Alcaraz will now face Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who is ranked 76th in the world, in the third round. Lajovic defeated American Maxime Cressy, ranked 37th, with a score of 6-4, 7-6 (7/2). Alcaraz is not just aiming for his fourth Masters 1000 trophy, but he’s also obligated to defend his 2022 title if he wants to retain his number one ATP ranking.

“I take it as a new tournament, I try not to think I’m defending the title,” said Alcaraz during a press conference. Last Sunday, the young tennis prodigy from El Palmar regained the world lead from Novak Djokovic with his victory in Indian Wells, the first Masters 1000 of the year.

After four days of rest, Alcaraz returned to the court and had an irresistible start to the match, which left Bagnis completely disarmed. Alcaraz took the first set effortlessly, conceding only seven points in just 22 minutes.

The second set also began as a monologue of Alcaraz, with another break at the first opportunity, but Bagnis managed to score in the ninth game. However, the Argentine’s effort to make a comeback was short-lived, as Alcaraz made sure to end it swiftly.

“I’m happy with my level after being able to rest for a few days and adapt now to the humidity and this faster court,” said Alcaraz during an interview with Tennis Channel. “It was a perfect start, and I feel ready for the tournament.” Alcaraz also reflected on his journey since becoming the youngest champion in Miami history in 2022, at the age of 18. Since then, he has lifted his first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open and emerged as the ATP’s youngest-ever No. 1.

“When I said then that I was ready to win a Grand Slam, I wasn’t wrong,” he said. “Here I’m going to say the same thing: I’m going to win another Grand Slam.”

If Alcaraz wins in Miami, not only will he retain the top spot in the ATP rankings, but he will also join the exclusive club of 11 tennis players, men and women, who have won back-to-back Indian Wells and Miami titles, a double known as the ‘Sunshine Double’.

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