Carlos Alcaraz, the reigning Wimbledon champion, faced a tough challenge against Ben Shelton at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto. Despite a formidable gameplan from Shelton and a slightly error-prone performance by Alcaraz, the Spanish star secured a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory, advancing to the third round and extending his remarkable winning streak to 13 matches, dating back to his Queen’s title.
Alcaraz admitted the match wasn’t easy, with Shelton’s aggressive approach consistently keeping him on his toes. Reflecting on the encounter, Alcaraz said, “He was more aggressive than me from the beginning to the last ball. I tried to be solid and to get my rhythm, and I’m really happy to be through and have an opportunity in the next round.”
The hard-fought victory is expected to sharpen Alcaraz’s focus for the upcoming rounds as he strives to bring his A-game from the start. Notably, Alcaraz has enjoyed a successful season, securing ATP Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid among his six total titles. His impressive performance has yielded an 18-2 record at the Masters 1000 level this year, and he’s now eyeing his fifth title at this prestigious level.
Alcaraz’s next challenge comes in the form of Hubert Hurkacz, a powerful server from Poland who displayed his resilience by overcoming Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 victory, punctuated by an impressive 25 aces. With the stage set for an intriguing clash, Alcaraz is poised to bring his exceptional form against the formidable Hurkacz as both players aim to progress further in the tournament.
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