#NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz erased a second-set blip and regrouped emphatically as he saw off fourth seed Marton Fucsovics for a place in the Winston-Salem Open quarter-finals on Wednesday. The 18-year-old advanced to his second tour-level quarter-final of the season 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.
In a first ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair, Alcaraz steadied the ship after he lost the second set in 30 minutes. He broke in the opening game of the deciding set and it was just the reset he required as he carried the shift in momentum to the finish line after two hours and seven minutes.
“Well it has been a great match, a really, really tough match. In the second set I went down absolutely… and I went up [on] my serve a little bit to start the third… I [thought] I could do it. Really happy to get the win,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview.
“In this match, I didn’t feel comfortable playing the long rallies. I started to… hit as hard as I can to try to make the points shorter.”
It paid dividends as the teenager won 57 per cent of first-serve points to Fucsovics’ 68 per cent but won three of six break points and saved 11 of the 14 he faced. Alcaraz, who won his first tour-level title in Umag in July, booked a clash with American Marcos Giron, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 winner over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Giron’s compatriot Frances Tiafoe backed up his victory over Andy Murray on Tuesday with another straight-sets triumph, this time over Brazilian Thiago Monteiro. The 13th seed booked a quarter-final berth following a 7-5, 7-6(2) win in one hour and 42 minutes.
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Tiafoe was dominant on serve as he claimed 86 per cent of first-serve points and 68 per cent on second-serve points. He fended off both break points faced. He will next meet Swede Mikael Ymer, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Australian lucky loser Max Purcell.
“It was two tight sets, quick sets I felt like. I was holding pretty swiftly but would not be happy to be playing a third set,” Tiafoe said. “Tonight I served unbelievable…. If you can loosen up from the back a little you can go for it because you’re so confident. Hopefully I can serve like that the rest of the week.”