Alcaraz Toughs Out Struff For Repeat Madrid Masters Title
Carlos Alcaraz did it again. The young phenom overcame a gallant effort by lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff to win a second straight Madrid Masters title 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
“For me it is so, so special,” Alcaraz said. “To lift the trophy here in Madrid. In my country. It is always special to play and to be able to do a good result here and [being] a champion is so special. In front of my home crowd, my family, my friends. Everyone close to me. For me it is a special feeling that I will never forget.”
The 33-year-old Struff made a match of it after dropping a first. The German, playing serve/volley and aggressive tennis on the dirt, broke early and got up 3-0, then held off break points to force a decider.
After saving a break point, Alcaraz would break for 2-1 and ease to the win as Struff just couldn’t keep it going against the weight and shotmaking from the Spaniard.
“It was a really tough match,” he added. “Jan was playing great, really aggressive. In the second set I had a lot of chances to break his serve and I didn’t take it and it was tough for me to lose it. I told myself that I had to be positive all the time and that I would have my chances and I think I did it in the third set.”
Alcaraz improves to 4-0 in Masters final and 20-year-old wins his 10th career title, fourth of 2023 and he’s taking his last 21 matches.
Struff will jump from No. 65 to a likely French Open seeding and a 28 ranking.
“It’s been an incredible journey from lucky loser to be in the final, runner-up here,” Struff said to the ATP. “I hope that it gives me a lot of push for in the next weeks and months. It was a best-career achievement so far.”
“Of course I wanted to go all the way to win today, but I would definitely say if someone told me two weeks ago you’re going to play the finals, I would take it,” he added. “I’m proud of the way I played. I am proud of the way I presented myself today.”
He drops to 1-2 against Alcaraz, though has won at least a set each time.
“If he’s playing, if he has so much time, he’s just too good,” Struff said. “He’s playing too well. And I tried to put a bit of pressure on him, tried to take a bit his time away and go for my shots, because he’s [physically better]. He’s very, very fast. He likes to rally. He like to play very aggressive.”
Alcaraz also completes the Spanish double for a second straight year. For now, he plans on playing in Rome. He’s won his last 11 matches.
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