Carlos Alcaraz demonstrated his US Open title credentials Thursday when he cruised past Argentine Federico Coria 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the third round in New York.
The Spaniard produced a dynamic and ruthless display as he entertained the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The third seed blasted 42 winners. He also moved forward effectively throughout, winning 78 per cent (36/46) of points at the net to level their ATP Head2Head series at 1-1.
“It is never easy to close [out] a match. Federico started to play very well. I had to stay calm to think [about] what I had to do at that moment. I stayed calm and focused in the tough moments,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview.
The 19-year-old now holds an 8-1 record against Argentines, having moved past Sebastian Baez in the first round. Alcaraz enjoyed an impressive run to the quarter-finals on debut in Flushing Meadows last year and will be aiming to better that this fortnight to strengthen his chances of becoming the youngest player to rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in history (since 1973).
He is one of four players – Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Casper Ruud – who have the opportunity to finish the US Open as the World No. 1. All but Nadal must reach the championship match to have a chance of leaving New York in top spot. More On Key Matches In Battle For No. 1.
In a match full of stunning shotmaking, it was Alcaraz who produced the heavier blows. He showcased great footwork to dictate with his forehand, while he scampered around the baseline to hang in points, surviving a Coria revival in the third set to triumph after two hours and 11 minutes.
With his victory, Alcaraz has improved to 46-9 on the season, having lifted four tour-level trophies, including ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Madrid. He has moved level with Stefanos Tsitsipas (also 46) for the most tour-level wins in 2022.
“It has been a great year for me. I think I am playing very well. I am so happy to be the player who now has the most victories in the year,” Alcaraz said. “But I have to look forward and stay the same player and go for it.”
The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who is currently third in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, will next face American Jenson Brooksby.
The 21-year-old downed Cincinnati champion Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6(10), 6-1 in three hours and eight minutes to reach the third round for the second time.
The home favourite saved seven set points in the second set, before he raced through the third set in front of a lively crowd. Brooksby, who reached his third tour-level final in Atlanta in July, has never played Alcaraz.