ATP

Alcaraz remains unbeaten in 2023 as he advances to Rio Open quarter-final

By Sports Desk February 23, 2023

World number two Carlos Alcaraz had to come from a set behind to defeat Fabio Fognini 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-4 on Thursday to advance to the Rio Open quarter-final.

The 19-year-old phenom has now won all five of his matches in 2023 after winning last week's Argentina Open, and the 2022 Rio champion is now three wins away from defending his title at South America's only ATP 500 event.

Against Fognini, Alcaraz lost the first set despite creating 11 break point opportunities, as his Italian opponent converted all four of his own chances in a back-and-forth battle. 

The Spaniard tightened up his service game down the stretch, only allowing Fognini one break point opportunity from the second and third frames combined, and he will now play Dusan Lajovic following his 6-2 6-4 win against Serbian compatriot Laslo Djere.

Chile's Nicolas Jarry is still yet to lose a set in the tournament, following up his impressive upset of third seed Lorenzo Musetti with a 6-2 6-2 triumph over Pedro Martinez.

Jarry will get a crack at another seeded opponent next when he takes on Argentina's sixth seed Sebastian Baez, who emerged victorious 7-5 7-6 (8-6) after two gruelling sets against Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas.

Fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo was eliminated 6-1 4-6 6-1 by Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who will meet Albert Ramos-Vinolas in an all-Spanish quarter-final after he fought off Daniel Elahi Galan 6-2 6-4.

Related items

  • Wimbledon: Record-chasing Djokovic acknowledges 'history is on the line' ahead of Alcaraz final Wimbledon: Record-chasing Djokovic acknowledges 'history is on the line' ahead of Alcaraz final

    Novak Djokovic knows "history is on the line" as he prepares to face Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final for the second year running.

    The Serb can move clear of Margaret Court and become the most decorated player in Grand Slam history with a 25th title, while matching Roger Federer's record of eight men's singles crowns at SW19.

    Djokovic will appear in his 10th Wimbledon final on Sunday, aiming to avenge his defeat by Alcaraz in a five-set thriller on Centre Court 12 months ago.

    The 37-year-old acknowledges there will be huge expectations on his shoulders when he steps out for a sixth consecutive championship match at the All England Club, but he will attempt to use it as "fuel" for success.

    "Obviously, I'm aware that Roger holds eight Wimbledon [titles]. I hold seven," he said. "History is on the line. Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam.

    "Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time, it's also a lot of pressure and expectation.

    "Any Grand Slam that I play, there's always history now on the line. I will try to use that as a fuel to play my best tennis.

    "Every time I step out on the court now, even though I'm 37 and competing with 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win 99% of the matches that I play.

    "I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at a level with Carlos, Jannik [Sinner], Sascha [Zverev], Daniil [Medvedev], or any of those guys."

    Incredibly, Djokovic has endured a silverware-free season up to this point, while he withdrew from last month's French Open at the quarter-final stage to undergo knee surgery.

    However, the 24-time major champion highlighted 2018 as a previous example of a successful campaign that had started slowly.

    Indeed, he recovered from an elbow operation earlier in the year - along with fourth-round and quarter-final exits from the Australian Open and French Open respectively - to win Wimbledon and the US Open.

    "This year hasn't been that successful for me," he added. "It's probably the weakest results in the first six months I've had in many years.

    "That's okay. I had to adapt and accept that, and also really try to find a way out from the injury that I had and regroup.

    "At Wimbledon, historically, there have been seasons where I maybe wasn't playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.

    "Wimbledon just extracts the best of me and motivates me to always show up and perform the best I can."

  • Record-chasing Djokovic acknowledges 'history is on the line' ahead of Wimbledon final Record-chasing Djokovic acknowledges 'history is on the line' ahead of Wimbledon final

    Novak Djokovic knows "history is on the line" as he prepares to face Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final for the second year running.

    The Serb can move clear of Margaret Court and become the most decorated player in Grand Slam history with a 25th title, while matching Roger Federer's record of eight men's singles crowns at SW19.

    Djokovic will appear in his 10th Wimbledon final on Sunday, aiming to avenge his defeat by Alcaraz in a five-set thriller on Centre Court 12 months ago.

    The 37-year-old acknowledges there will be huge expectations on his shoulders when he steps out for a sixth consecutive championship match at the All England Club, but he will attempt to use it as "fuel" for success.

    "Obviously, I'm aware that Roger holds eight Wimbledon [titles]. I hold seven," he said. "History is on the line. Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam.

    "Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time, it's also a lot of pressure and expectation.

    "Any Grand Slam that I play, there's always history now on the line. I will try to use that as a fuel to play my best tennis.

    "Every time I step out on the court now, even though I'm 37 and competing with 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win 99% of the matches that I play.

    "I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at a level with Carlos, Jannik [Sinner], Sascha [Zverev], Daniil [Medvedev], or any of those guys."

    Incredibly, Djokovic has endured a silverware-free season up to this point, while he withdrew from last month's French Open at the quarter-final stage to undergo knee surgery.

    However, the 24-time major champion highlighted 2018 as a previous example of a successful campaign that had started slowly.

    Indeed, he recovered from an elbow operation earlier in the year - along with fourth-round and quarter-final exits from the Australian Open and French Open respectively - to win Wimbledon and the US Open.

    "This year hasn't been that successful for me," he added. "It's probably the weakest results in the first six months I've had in many years.

    "That's okay. I had to adapt and accept that, and also really try to find a way out from the injury that I had and regroup.

    "At Wimbledon, historically, there have been seasons where I maybe wasn't playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.

    "Wimbledon just extracts the best of me and motivates me to always show up and perform the best I can."

  • 'Best day of my life' – Krejcikova celebrates maiden Wimbledon title 'Best day of my life' – Krejcikova celebrates maiden Wimbledon title

    Barbora Krejcikova said winning Wimbledon marks the best day of her life as she celebrated an unexpected triumph.

    The Czech earned her maiden title at All England Club with a hard-fought 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory over Jasmine Paolini in Saturday's final.

    It brought up Krejcikova's second grand slam title, after the 2021 French Open, making her the seventh player to win their first women's singles finals at both tournaments.

    Having pulled off three major shocks to get to the final, knocking out Danielle Collins, Jelena Ostapenko, and Elena Rybakina, Krejcikova appeared stunned when she finally got her hands on the trophy.

    "I don't have any words right now, it's just unbelievable. It's definitely the best day of my tennis career and also the best day of my life," Krejcikova said.

    "It's super difficult to explain what I'm feeling right now. I would like to congratulate Jasmine and her team. She had a great two weeks, it was a great final, and we were fighting for every point.

    "I think nobody believes that I got to the final and nobody believes that I won Wimbledon. I still can't believe it.

    "I didn't really have a good beginning to the season. It's unbelievable I'm stood here now, and I've won Wimbledon. I have no idea [how it happened]."

    Following her win over Rybakina in the semi-final, Krejcikova paid tribute to Jana Novotna, who passed away in 2017 from ovarian cancer at the age of 49.

    She first met the 1998 Wimbledon winner 10 years ago, and has now emulated her former mentor's achievements.

    "I think that day, knocking on her door, it changed my life," an emotional Krejcikova added. "Because in that period when I finished the juniors, I didn’t know what to do – should I continue playing pro or go into education?

    "She was the one who told me I had the potential, and I should definitely turn pro. Before she passed away, she told me I can win a slam.

    "I achieved that in Paris in 2021 – it was an unbelievable moment for me, and I never really dreamed I would win the same trophy as Jana did in 1998."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.