Alcaraz subdues Shelton for a good debut at the Toronto Masters 1000


The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz made his debut this Thursday morning at the Toronto (Canada) tournament, the sixth ATP Masters 1000 of the season and which is played on hard courts, with a solid 6-3, 7-6(3) victory against American Ben Shelton.

Alcaraz, who can take advantage of the absence of the Serbian Novak Djokovic to widen his distance in the world ranking leadership, began the North American tour against a generational partner and with a match that had a certain trap. Not surprisingly, Shelton showed devilish hand speed at the beginning, already squeezing in the opening game.

The American had three break options there, who even excelled in a winning rest at 151 km/h that petrified his rival. But Alcaraz saved them all, the third with an ‘ace’, and the gale that came from the other side of the net subsided. The Atlanta player rushed into a return, letting the ball bounce too much, and gave up that game.

After both maintained their services in the following two rallies, in the fourth the Murcian took advantage of a break opportunity (3-1); he did, yes, thanks to a double fault from Shelton. With the result in his favour, the man from El Palmar exhibited mettle and fastened each service round until winning the first set in 42 minutes.

The start of the second sleeve saw a more even duel, with the best calibrated American of ‘revolutions’. In fact, he went ahead 1-2 and made Alcaraz uncomfortable on his serve, but the number 1 in the world executed a backhand turning around and I rolled up his sleeves with 0-30 against him, which misled his opponent and in the end served him to win point.

Smile of the man from Palma to his box, immediate comeback and ‘furniture’ saved (2-2). Despite everything, at that point Shelton had already channeled the aggressiveness well into his blows, which he reflected in serves won without mishaps and some delicacy to the rest. In response, little brilliance from Alcaraz, although enough doses of talent to force the ‘tie-break’.

In said sudden death, the Atlanta man narrowly missed a distant ‘drive’ inverted, when he was 2-1 down. ‘Ipso facto’, committed a double fault (4-1) that put victory on track for Alcaraz, who sealed his ticket to the round of 16 after 1 hour and 38 minutes of the game.

The Spaniard’s next opponent in this tournament will be the Polish Hubert Hurkacz, the executioner of the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 5-7, 6-3 and 6-0 in 1 hour and 52 minutes. It will be the next obstacle on Alcaraz’s path to a new US Open, where in September he will defend the crown he won in 2022 to amaze the entire world of tennis.