Alcaraz Bounces Back With Assured Win In Cincinnati
Carlos Alcaraz fell victim to an upset bid from American Tommy Paul in his last outing, admitting post-match that he couldn’t handle the “pressure” of being the second seed in Montreal.
The Spaniard did not allow the pressure to build on Tuesday in his second-round match at the Western & Southern Open as he breezed past home hope Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2 on the Grandstand to earn his first win in his second Cincinnati appearance.
“I’m really happy with the performance today,” he said. “One of the goals in this tournament is to grow with the pressure… to enjoy as I did at the beginning of the year and last year. To enjoy playing great tennis, to try to be relaxed. I think in this round I did it and I’m really happy with it.”
An ATP Masters 1000 champion in Miami and Madrid already in 2022, Alcaraz improved to 16-3 at that elite level this season and 43-8 on the year, including 13-3 on hard courts.
The 19-year-old quickly banished any lingering doubts from Montreal by breaking in the very first game against McDonald and he sealed the opening set with authority behind another break. Alcaraz did his damage late in set two as he stormed through its final four games to advance in one hour and five minutes.
“I think this court is fast, the ball slides a lot and it’s difficult to play with that,” he said of the Cincinnati conditions. “I tried to be really focussed with his shots and to be aggressive, that’s all.”
Seeded third in Ohio, he will next face Marin Cilic or Emil Ruusuvuori, who are also playing Tuesday evening.