Alcaraz, Musetti Set ‘Battle Of The Teens’ In Trieste

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia

TRIESTE, August 28, 2020

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia has advanced to his first semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour. On a hot and sunny Friday afternoon at the Citta di Trieste, the 17-year-old fought past Argentine qualifier Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The Spanish teen sensation, currently ranked World No. 310, won 70 per cent of his first service points and broke his opponent’s serve two times to secure a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory in one hour and 55 minutes.

“It has been a very nice week for the players of our academy,” former World No. 1 and Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero told Tennis TourTalk after the win of his protege. Earlier in the day, Mario Vilella Martinez, another player of the JC Ferrero Equelite Sport Academy in Villena, also booked his spot in the stage of the final four of the €88,520 clay-court event following a 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4 win over Briton Liam Broady.

“Both play very well. Obviously Carlos is much younger than Mario having less experience but I am very happy how things proceed here in Italy,” Ferrero said, being well aware of the fact that more attention is given to Alcaraz.

Physical fitness as key

The youngster, however, had to go through difficult times during the lockdown in Spain due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“I tried to keep motivated, as no one really knew when the tour will resume,” the 2003 Roland Garros champion explained. “It wasn’t easy but he did a good job, stayed calm and worked hard on his physical performance, as there were not many opportunities to practice tennis. Now, we are here and it seems that our work has paid off. I am very happy.”

The tournament is Trieste is only the second week since the re-start of the ATP Challenger Tour. Ferrero, who also attended with his two cracks the previous event in Todi, Umbria, seems to get used to the new conditions. “Everything is different, as in Spain spectators are not allowed at the tournaments,” he said. “We have to undergo regular testing, which is not nice but necessary. We try to act responsible and for the moment it is working well.”

Battle of the teens

On Saturday, Alcaraz will take on Italian wild card entry Lorenzo Musetti, who eased past Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina 6-1, 6-3 in only 67 minutes. The 18-year-old from Cassara, the 2019 Australian Open boys’ singles champion, will appear in his second ATP Challenger semi-final after Milan in June last year. Alcaraz won the only previous meeting between the two in the 2018 Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals.

Bonadio continues fine form

Vilella Martinez will take on in-form qualifier Riccardo Bonadio. The 27-year-old Italian rallied past Maximilian Marterer of Germany 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 after two hours and 31 minutes.

“My match yesterday finished pretty late, so I was a bit tired at the beginning today,” Bonadio told Tennis TourTalk. “It was a tough match against a lefty. He tried to make me move a lot but I tried to go for his backhand in the second and third set, which worked out very well.”