Tennis: Alcaraz resurfaces on the Queen's lawn

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The Spanish Carlos Alcaraz suffered in his debut on grass, but managed come back and defeat the French Arthur Rinderknech by 4-6, 7-5 and 7-6 (3) to begin his career in Queen's with victory.

The Murcian, who was making his debut at the London club after three days of training, needed set and a half to acclimatize to the surface and to decipher the game of his rival, the tall and aggressive Rinderknech, who went to the net more than 70 times and did not stop put Alcaraz in trouble.

He number two in the world he had imagined a completely different match, since in his head the rival was going to be the teenager Arthur Philswho got out of the tournament two hours before the start of the game and allowed the entry of Rinderknech as 'lucky loser'.

Alcaraz already knew what it was like to win against the Frenchman, in a completely different context, the US Open 2021, and already then it had been a puzzle and had snatched a set. Now the situation was very different, with a Alcaraz acclaimed on the track and as a super favorite against a Rinderknech who had no support or on his bench, completely deserted.

The game was a fight against the surface and against the direct game of his rival. After six games of scoring and understanding that it was not going to be a walk through the countryside, Alcaraz missed three break points and the derailment began. The Murcian played four unforced errors in a row in the eighth game and gave away his serve.

The grass tour started with a scare, now it remained to decipher if also with drama. It is what this surface has; two misses and the set is lost. The room for maneuver was still great, because Alcaraz's tennis was far from his usual rhythmbut either the Frenchman opened windows with his service, or the shipwreck would be irremediable.

With 5-4 in favor of the French, this one was three points away from winning the game. Maximum tension that Alcaraz let go with a service that tripped the Frenchman and made him fall to the ground.

He wasn't damaged, but he did lose concentration. He lost the next three games and the match found a balance in which Alcaraz, by head, had the chance to win. The effervescence of the Frenchman had been diluted and even he was seen to lose.

And there, Alcaraz's sanity prevailed. The Murcian hit the tiebreaker at the first point, with a spectacular exchange that he resolved by skidding on the ground, and no longer lost the advantage. In just over two and a half hours, he closed his fifth victory on this surface, the first outside of Wimbledon.

With this victory, Alcaraz, who will face Jiri Lehecka in second roundkeep alive the hope of reaching number one to wimbledon. He will need four more victories to snatch the scepter from Djokovic.

(With information from EFE)

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