Carlos Alcaraz accelerates to 100 at Indian Wells | Tennis

After 132 meetings held on the main circuit, Carlos Alcaraz won the hundredth victory. It took place against the Dutch Tallon Griekspoor, in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open, taking place in Indian Wells, and placed the 19-year-old Spaniard among the fastest to reach that record, behind the record holder John McEnroe (131 games) and ahead of Andre Agassi (135), Rafael Nadal (137), Mats Wilander and Jimmy Connors (both 138).

The first of Alcaraz’s 100 victories took place in February 2020, at the Rio Open, when he was then 406th in the ranking and defeated compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas – in an epic duel, concluded with the partials of 7-6, 4-6 and 7-6, at three in the morning local. The most notorious took place last September, in the final of the US Open, over Casper Ruud (by 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 and 6-3), and gave him the first Grand Slam trophy and the leadership of the world ranking.

After defeating Griekspoor (36th), by 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, Alcaraz will discuss a place in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open with the British Jack Draper, 21 years old. In the first confrontation with the idol and the most illustrious of his tennis compatriots, Draper (56th) overcame Andy Murray (55th), by 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, after annulling a set point with an ace in the opening game and close with a third breakachieved in the fifth double foul of the 35-year-old Briton.

“I’ve admired Andy since I was very young. I saw him at Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and then I had the opportunity to meet him and train with him several times from 2019 onwards. He is a really special person, a great champion, a great human being and I am privileged to have faced him”, said Draper, who already in the previous round had eliminated another compatriot, Daniel Evans (29th).

Murray had already praised the young Briton, highlighting Draper’s good movement, taking into account his wingspan (1.93m and 85kg). “I think he’s going to be a top player for a long time,” predicted Murray.

Standout in Indian Wells was also Stan Wawrinka (100th), who, in another duel of generations, beat Holger Rune (8th), by 6-2, 6-7 (5/7) and 7-5. The 37-year-old Swiss could have shortened the victory if, in the second sethad taken advantage of match point when he served the 5-3 or 5/2 advantage in the tiebreakerk. But the effectiveness of the first service in the set decisive (17 points gained from 20) proved to be decisive for Wawrinka to overcome the 19-year-old Dane, who had beaten him in the previous duel, last October.

“The last 45 minutes were tough. I had the match under control, I was playing well, putting a lot of pressure on and I should have won much sooner. I started to feel nervous and I hesitated a bit and he got back into the game. He is an amazing player, still young. It was important to stay mentally calm, because I’m playing well”, summarized Wawrinka after his 550th ATP Tour victory and his ninth this year, one more than the total for 2022.

“In my entire career I only knew how to compete in one way: fighting, working, pushing myself and being positive”, said Wawrinka, who is in the last 16 of a Masters 1000 for the first time since 2020.

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