Another imperious display by the heir apparent
With every round, Alcaraz lives up more and more to his billing as the next big thing in tennis, and the heir apparent of the ‘Big Three’.
While there have been multiple generations of talented players that have come and gone in the decades of dominance by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, the 19-year-old has been peaking at just the right time to threaten their claim to the throne.
In his second Chatrier night match of the tournament, Alcaraz stormed out of the gates against a lacklustre Khachanov, who struggled to keep up with the teenager’s firepower. The Spaniard reeled off the first five games of the match before Khachanov finally got on the scoreboard, and he didn’t face a break point in the opening two sets of the match.
He also kept a champion’s composure late in the third set, with fans in the stands rallying behind his opponent and cheering for the underdog to extend the match. The Olympic silver medallist raised his level and found his first break of the Alcaraz serve, before saving five match points in a marathon 12-minute game to hold for 5-4.
But Alcaraz stayed calm, sticking to his game plan to close out the match on his next opportunity to close out the victory in straight sets.