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Alcaraz begins his defense of Indian Wells with a comeback against Arnaldi

MADRID, 9 Mar.

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Alcaraz begins his defense of Indian Wells with a comeback against Arnaldi


The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, number two in the world, made his debut this morning with a comeback against the Italian Matteo Arnaldi (6-7(5), 6-0, 6-1) in Indian Wells, the first ATP Masters 1,000 of the season, and takes the first step towards defending the title won in 2023.

The Murcian, after losing the first set in the tie-break, linked a partial of 12-1 to end the contest after two hours and 14 minutes and meet in the next round with the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, 31st favorite and who beat Frenchman Constant Lestienne (6-4, 6-1).

In his debut in the Californian tournament, Alcaraz left behind the discomfort of Rio de Janeiro, where weeks ago he was forced to abandon his debut due to a sprained ankle, and went from less to more in a duel in which equality ruled in the first bars.

He broke his opponent's serve in the seventh game, but he responded with a counterbreak that forced sudden death, before wasting a set point in the twelfth game. In the tiebreak, Arnaldi took a 5-2 lead after several errors with his forehand, such as the backhand of El Palmar, and was able to win at his first opportunity.

However, Alcaraz reacted quickly, with a 'rosco' in a second set that closed after a very long last game resolved on his sixth set point. He no longer took his foot off the accelerator and only allowed his opponent to win a game in the last set, with which he confirmed his seventh consecutive victory in the Californian desert.

"I had to change some details. I made some mistakes in the first set, so I had to get more first serves in the second and third set. I think it has been a big key to raising my level, being in the exchanges, making them more long and find the rhythm. I'm happy to have won," Alcaraz said after the match.

Now, in the next round he will face the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has won three of the four matches they have played.