Alcaraz Wins ‘Battle Of The Generations’ In Marbella

Carlos Alcaraz (photo: Alvaro Diaz)

MARBELLA, April 8, 2021

‘Youth beats experience’ – this was the headline of Thursday’s second-round action at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open, as Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz ousted his 39-year-old compatriot and seven-time ATP tournament winner Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the Club de Tenis Puente Romano in Marbella.

On Estadio Manolo Santana, the 17-year-old from Murcia sent down seven aces and won 73 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after exactly two hours of play.

“It was a tough match. Feli is a great player with a great serve and volley game. I needed to stay focused all the time and I am glad I won,” said Alcaraz, who was rewarded with 10 break opportunities across three sets, converting on five occasions.

“After losing the first set I kept calm and started to play better. I knew what I had to improve and I became more confident to mentally endure the whole match.

In his only sixth appearance in the main draw of an ATP Tour event, wild card entry Alcaraz has reached his first quarterfinal.

“I like to play at home. It is a pleasure to compete in front of people who encourage you. This is something special and I can benefit from it on the court.”

The World No. 133 will next play 22-year-old Casper Ruud. The No. 3 seed from Norway defeated Italian Gianluca Mager, winner of last week’s AnyTech365 Andalucia Open ATP Challenger 80 tournament, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and nine minutes. The two youngsters will meet for the first time.

“He is a very good player, ranked No. 26 in the world,” Alcaraz said about his upcoming opponent. “He practices at the Rafa Nadal Academy and improved a lot. I saw his matches. He serves well and has a good forehand. I will try to be aggressive and let’s see what happens.”

Munar eases past Fognini

Earlier in the day at the Costa del Sol, Jaume Munar booked his spot in the stage of the final eight with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 2 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy, who was contesting his first clay court match of the year.

The 23-year-old Spaniard, currently ranked World No. 99, converted six of his 16 break-point opportunities to secure his first Top 20 victory of the season in one hour and 23 minutes.

“I am happy, I feel good. I have recovered my freshness and I am once again the Jaume who was number 52 in the world. It was important to get back on that path. I am ready to face any rival on the circuit,” said Munar.

Munar will next face Ilya Ivashka. The World No. 115 from Belarus beat No. 5 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 12 minutes.