Carlos Alcaraz of Spain continued his incredible run of form with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5) quarter-final victory over Miomir Kecmanovic on Thursday evening, making his winning debut at the 2022 Miami Open in Hard Rock Stadium. Alcaraz was two points away from losing at 4-5, 15/30, and 5/3 in the tie-break, where he trailed by a mini-break on both occasions. However, he was brave and bold when it mattered most, winning the game’s final four points and sealing the deal with a spectacular pushed passing shot on the run.
“Miomir was playing unbelievable,” the Spaniard said after the tie. “I knew that I had to put a good level from my side. He had chances to win the match. I did a great shot at 4-5 in the third set, 15/30,” he added.
The 18-year-old received tremendous support from the Miami crowd and he compared it to playing a match in his him country of Spain. “I think that I’m playing in Spain,” Alcaraz said.
“It’s unbelievable. The energy that they push to me, it was crazy. I think without them it would not be possible to get into the semi-finals today.”
The 18-year-old was put to the test by Kecmanovic, dropping a set for the first time in the tournament. However, despite dominating the first three games of the match and recovering a late mini-break in the first tie-break, the Serb was unable to overcome the all-action Alcaraz.
Alcaraz’s impact on the game was exemplified by his 52/40 winners-to-unforced-errors ratio, as he sought out every opportunity to attack. Kecmanovic, who did everything he could to keep his opponent on the back foot, finished with a score of 19/16. Following deep runs in Indian Wells, both men were in consecutive ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals, and the Spaniard has now equaled his career-best showing at that level by reaching the final four once more. Alcaraz had never won in Miami before this year’s tournament, but he has now won four in a row to improve his season record to a scorching 16-2.
“The rest of the match I’m trying to hit the ball hard to push the opponent off the baseline,” he said of his strategy. “The drop shot is good for me. I have confidence with that shot. In the tough moments, you have to hit the best shots that you have.”