Tennis: Top-ranked Alcaraz wins in Toronto in first match since Wimbledon title

AP , Thursday 10 Aug 2023

Top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz won in his first match since his Wimbledon victory, beating Ben Shelton 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the National Bank Open on Wednesday night.

Carlos Alcaraz
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates a point against United States Ben Shelton during the National Bank Open men's tennis tournament Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, in Toronto. Photo: AP

 

Preparing for his U.S. Open title defense, the 20-year-old Alcaraz ran his match winning streak to 13, dating to his Queen’s title run. The Spanish star has won six titles this year.

“I tried to play my level but it wasn’t easy,” Alcaraz said. “He was more aggressive than me from the beginning to the last ball. I tried to be solid and to get my rhythm and I’m really happy to be through to have an opportunity in the next round. This match will help me to be more focused in the next round, to put my game first in the beginning of the match.”

In the third round, Alcaraz will face 15th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz, a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 winner over Miomir Kecmanovic.

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev topped Matteo Arnaldi 6-2, 7-5 in the afternoon. The 2021 winner in Toronto, Medvedev played his first match since losing in the Wimbledon semifinals.

“I felt great,” said Medvedev, the third-ranked Russian who has five titles this year. “I could have done a little bit better in the second set, but at the same time I saved break points in two or three games, so pretty good match. From here, I need to improve.”

Three top-five seeds tumbled out. Gael Monfils upset fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4. 6-3; Marcos Giron eliminated Holger Rune 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; and Mackenzie McDonald ousted sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3.

“I knew that Stef had a lot of confidence,” Monfils said. “He would try to go for his shots. I tried to put a lot of balls in, tried to hit quite heavy and not let him dictate too much. I think I did it well.”

Andy Murray, the 2009, 2010 and 2015 champion, advanced with a 7-6 (2), 3-6. 7-5 victory over Max Purcell.

In an all-Italian match, seventh-seeded Jannik Sinner beat Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-3. Sinner will face Murray in the third round.

Eighth-seeded Taylor Fritz outlasted Ugo Humbert 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3, and Canadian Milos Raonic edged Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-3.

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