Alcaraz collides with an inspired Dimitrov and says goodbye in the round of 16 in Shanghai


The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz was eliminated this Wednesday in the round of 16 of the Shanghai tournament (China), the penultimate Masters 1,000 of the season and which is played on a hard court, after losing to the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (5-7, 6- 2 and 6-4), in a match with many doubts from Murcia.

The world number two never dominated Dimitrov, number 19 in the ATP ranking, who did know how to manage his advantages better and had more confidence in key moments. Alcaraz won the first set with a comeback just in time, but could do nothing against the aggressive and forceful version of a Bulgarian tennis player with very clear ideas who won for the first time against the Spaniard, after three previous defeats, in the which had not converted any sets.

For the first time this season, the Spaniard does not reach at least the quarterfinals of a Masters 1,000, after he fell in that same round -although with fewer games played- in the tournament held in Rome. This defeat denies number one to Alcaraz, who will not be able to surpass Novak Djokovic who now has about 500 cushion points.

The Murcian started firmly with his serve, while the Bulgarian, with some doubts in the form of two double faults on his first serve, preferred to avoid the game from the bottom to save the first two break points for the Spaniard and maintain equality. Both tennis players raised their level with their serves, serving the next two blank games, with Dimitrov growing and stopping Alcaraz’s initial momentum.

In fact, in the first opportunity he had to break the Murcian, he made it 2-3, taking advantage of errors from an Alcaraz that suffered more and was somewhat more hesitant. The Bulgarian confirmed the ‘break’ with his serve and delved into the Spaniard’s bad feelings to the rest, suffering a stronger Dimitrov, with more confidence and more effective and accurate blows.

With 3-4 and 0-30 for Alcaraz, he did not take advantage of his valuable option of opting for a tie, but Dimitrov, who had everything going for him, once again used direct aces to neutralize the Murcian’s faith and make it 3-5. From there, Alcaraz improved his attitude and worked the comeback, with a display of all kinds of blows that contained the Bulgarian and allowed him to close out the rest, although on the second set point, and winning three games in a row, the set by 7-5.

That unfortunate ending for Dimitrov did not sink him, and he began the second set by breaking the Murcian in the first game and with a solid serve he went 0-2. Once again, Alcaraz had to row, and he did so to breathe with the 1-2 thanks to a solid and comfortable serve. Despite some winning but isolated blow from Dimitrov, the Spaniard stayed alive thanks to his services, without losing his nerve, although one game down (2-3).

But the Bulgarian had already gone ahead to win the second set – the first in the face to face match against Alcaraz – and gave no respite against a disconnected Alcaraz with a double break that he confirmed with his serve to put his name to the first to the second set (6-2).

Already in the third set, the Bulgarian maintained his high level to break the Spaniard’s serve in the third game, a break that he confirmed comfortably on his next serve. Also easy, Alcaraz, with patience, stayed close with a blank game, against a Dimitrov who continued to take the initiative and managed his advantage better technically and mentally.

With wide serves and a sliced ​​backhand that despaired the Murcian, who never mentally got into the third set, the Bulgarian closed the third and final set (6-4) with his serve to advance to the quarterfinals. Now, Dimitrov will face the Chilean Nicolás Jarry in the quarterfinals.