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Carlos Alcaraz is one of the main favourites to win the 2022 French Open. But last night, he came within one point of taking a second-round defeat against Ramos-Vinolas. The sensational 19-year-old ultimately survived this scare to take a five-set win in 4 hours and 35 minutes in front of a packed crowd. For me, this was the match of the tournament so far, and Alcaraz is no doubt relieved to have pulled through.
But here’s a huge question that has emerged following his victory. Does this epic victory actually help or hinder Alcaraz for the remainder of Roland Garros? In my opinion, this match will help him as he moves deeper into the event. And I’ve provided my reasons for this below.
Three Reasons This Win Is Huge for Alcaraz’s Chances
It’s always great for a player to pull through a tight five-setter in a tournament. Sure, for older players it’s not always fantastic. But for these younger guys, there are many positives to take, as they should recover easily for their next game. On that note, here are the three positives with regard to Alcaraz’s win yesterday:
Finding a Way to Win
I had the pleasure of being able to watch most of this match yesterday. And one of the main things that were apparent, as the scoreline confirms, is that Alcaraz wasn’t playing his best tennis. He was missing balls that he usually wouldn’t, and until the fifth set, he was not playing the big points well at all. This is unusual for him. However, there is a flip side to this story too.
Despite not playing at his top level, he still managed to find a way through Ramos-Vinolas, even when faced with a 3-0 deficit in the fifth. With younger players, this is something that you don’t always see.
Surviving a Match Point
In the fourth set, Alcaraz faced a match point, which he ultimately managed to save. Interestingly, this is something that Alex Zverev also managed to do in his match against Baez yesterday. Now, this is actually one of the more prolific advantages or positive points to take from his victory. Whenever a player manages to come through after facing match points, they seem to develop this aura of invincibility. Of course, Alcaraz is an extremely confident player at the best of times.
But I feel that since he has pulled off this win after being so close to a loss, he will move forward with immense confidence – even more than before.
Experience of Such Intense Moments
It’s easy to forget that Carlos Alcaraz is still so new to the big stages. After all, he only really made his mark on the tour at a Grand Slam level towards the end of the 2021 season. So while yes, he is a top 10 player, it’s not like he has a boatload of experience playing these intense matches at the biggest stadiums in our sport. However, now that he has experienced such a close match on a huge court in Paris, again, I feel that this will definitely help him moving forward.