The young Carlos Alcaraz, 19, became the youngest number 28 and number 1 in the ATP world on Monday. The US Open champion returned to Spain and got into the first phase of the Davis Cup final in Valencia. Carlos did not play against Serbia and managed his team against Canada on Friday.
Alcaraz faced Felix Auger-Aliassime and lost 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 50 minutes. Thus, Carlos became the fourth player to start his reign in the ATP with a loss and the first since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001. The teenager prevailed in a tight first stage before the Canadian turned 180 degrees to achieve one of his most notable victories of the season. .
Felix defeated Carlos for the second time in as many meetings, breaking at 4-4 in the second set and dominating the decider. Auger-Aliassime fired 16 aces and made the difference with his first serve. Felix defended all seven break points and kept the pressure on the other side.
He broke Carlos three times to control the pace in the second set of the match and keep his country in contention. The Canadian found his rhythm behind the serve early on on an indoor court, producing one good serve after another and keeping the pressure on the local star.
Carlos survived challenging games at 1-2 and 2-3 and served to hold the set at 4-5. The Spaniard held on after winning his serve before facing an even more serious challenge at 5-6. Alcaraz saved a set point and brought the game home to go into a tie break.
Bruguera opens up on Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz could have skipped the “Davis Cup”, especially since with this new format he often puts on a pathetic show compared to the old one. More than his former glory, this competition has lost its soul.
However, as Spain is very involved in this new version through the Kosmos company directed by Piqué, the Iberians are playing it, they see more than that as explained by captain Bruguera about Alcaraz. “First of all, we have to congratulate and thank Carlos for the great effort he put in, knowing that he was very tired, having played five-set matches in four consecutive qualifying rounds at the US Open.
He played a final last Sunday and on Tuesday he was already here in Valencia. His commitment is incredible and any other player would not have come. He played a very good game, but Aliassime played one of the best games of his life that I can remember.
He lacked a bit of mental freshness and also time to adapt to very different conditions than the ones he has played lately. Carlos was unlucky enough to face a player like Aliassime in his first match.»