Alcaraz Races Past Norrie In US Open Debut
Spaniard maintains unbeaten run in first round of majors
World No.55 Carlos Alcaraz made a statement debut at the US Open on Monday, as he needed only an hour and 53 minutes to blast 38 winners past the 26th seed Cameron Norrie. The #NextGenATP Spaniard advanced to the second round in straight sets, 6-4 6-4 6-3.
"I’ve playeda lot of tournaments on hard court. I played Winston-Salem and Cincinnati. To be able to win... matches at each tournament made me feel more comfortable before coming here," Alcaraz said. "Now I feel I can play against everyone. I feel that I’m playing a really good game."
The 2021 Umag Open champion, who is coached by former World No.1 and 2003 US Open finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero, looked in complete control throughout the match. In the first set, Norrie was unable to create a break point chance and could only get three winners past Alcaraz.
The 18-year-old ultimately broke the Brit’s serve at 4-4 and closed out the first set after 36 minutes. The pair went toe-to-toe at the start of the second set before Alcaraz took an early 2-0 lead, but Norrie, 26, raised his level immediately and broke back to level the match at 2-2.
Norrie, the 2021 Los Cabos Champion, was under pressure immediately as he was unable to cope with the pace of Alcaraz’s inside-in forehand into his backhand, which appeared to be a main tactic from the Spaniard. After that moment, the British No.2 was unable to find any sort of momentum in the set.
The World No. 29 made more inroads in the third set but was broken in the opening game on a double fault. Norrie was still unable to read Alcaraz’s forehand and was consistently left guessing. The Spaniard finished the match when he broke Norrie for the sixth time.
“Right now I feel very comfortable on court. I feel like I am playing [at a] good level… That means alot to me," Alcaraz said. "That means I’m playing really good and I’m doing the right things. So I’m really happy with that...I played a very serious match, focused all the time. I’m really happy with everything with the match.”
Alcaraz won 78 per cent of points behind his first serve in the one-hour, 55-minute victory. He will next face World No. 83 Arthur Rinderknech after the Frenchman completed an epic comeback from two sets down to defeat Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-7(10), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. It will be the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting.
Alcaraz, who is fourth in the ATP Race to Milan, ensured he remained undefeated in first-round matches at majors. He lost in the second round at the Australian Open, the third round at Roland Garros and the second round at Wimbledon this year.