Alcaraz Cruises Past Musetti In Beijing, Earns 60th Win Of 2023
The top-seeded Spaniard overpowered Musetti with his explosive groundstrokes, striking 18 winners and breaking the Italian's serve four times to improve to 2-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against the 21-year-old.
"Today was a perfect match for me," Alcaraz said. "You can improve and be better every day but I was proud of my tennis playing this level. I played high quality, great shots and a great return game. It was a great match and I enjoyed playing today. I enjoy China."
With his 81-minute victory, Alcaraz improved to 16-1 at ATP 500 events, highlighted by title runs in Barcelona and at The Queen’s Club. The 20-year-old will look to earn his 17th win at this level when he takes on Casper Ruud in the last eight.
"A goal for me today was to start strong," Alcaraz added. "Try to push him to the limit at the start. Trying to dominate the match, not make him feel comfortable. Move him and not let him hit his shots."
Last Six Players To Earn 60+ Tour-Level Wins In A Season
|Carlos Alcaraz||2023||60* (active record)|
Alcaraz began the Asian Swing behind World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but could close that gap to 315 points by winning his first title since Wimbledon in Beijing. The Spaniard has earned a Tour-leading six trophies in 2023.
Seventh seed Ruud set a meeting with Alcaraz after edging past Tomas Martin Etcheverry 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(7) at the ATP 500. The Norwegian trailed 0/4 in the third-set tie-break before fighting back to prevail on his third match point after two hours and 59 minutes.
"It was not the best start. I was struggling a bit with the shade and the sun at the beginning," Ruud said. "I got a good start in the second set. I broke him right away and that was what I needed to get the match going. Two really tight sets that went in my favour but I am really happy. It was a really tough battle."
Ruud will need to perform strongly during the Asian Swing if he is to boost his Nitto ATP Finals qualification hopes. The 24-year-old, who reached the title match at the year-end event in 2022, is currently 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.