Carlos Alcaraz Earns Grueling Victory Over Dan Evans in Shanghai, Tsitsipas Ousted by Humbert
- by proamteam
Carlos Alcaraz has secured a spot in the Shanghai Masters’ round of 16 by defeating the familiar opponent, Dan Evans, in straight sets at Qizhong Stadium. The Spaniard exhibited remarkable speed, explosiveness, and power that proved too much for the British player. Although Evans managed to break the world No. 2 twice, he couldn’t maintain his lead. Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas’ season ended on a disappointing note with yet another defeat in China.
Carlos Alcaraz reached the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters with a battling win 7-6(1) 6-4 over Dan Evans, while Stefanos Tsitsipas lost 4-6 6-3 5-7 to Ugo Humbert.
In the match between Alcaraz and Evans, the Brit kept up to speed with the dynamic world No. 2 in the first set and led 4-1 after an early break.
However, Alcaraz recovered and pulled away in the tie-breaker, taking the first of his five set points with a laser-like backhand return fizzing past Evans.
The 20-year-old was broken by the Brit at 1-1 in the second set, prompting a roar from Evans, but he was pegged back by the explosive hitting of the man on the other side of the net.
And it was another clean backhand return winner that won the match for Alcaraz, who let out a celebratory cry as he unleashed the rocket.
“It was a really tough match,” said Alcaraz afterwards.
“It was one of the toughest matches that I’ve played so far outside the Grand Slams.”
Alcaraz will next face Grigor Dimitrov.
There was a big-name exit when world No.4 Tsitsipas fell to defeat to 32nd-seed Humbert.
The Frenchman battled past his Greek counterpart in three sets to reach the last 16.
Tsitsipas has struggled since his second round loss at the US Open in August.
He crashed out in the first round of the China Open last month before suffering another early exit in Shanghai.
Earlier, Taylor Fritz was beaten by Diego Schwartzman.
Fritz, the American seventh seed, came out second best to Schwartzman at Qizhong Stadium, losing in three sets, which finished with in a gruelling tie-break that was on a knife edge until the last.
Fritz started poorly, dropping the opening set 6-4, but regained his composure and his form and power to level proceedings, taking the second 6-3 as Schwartzman took issue with slow responses from the umpire to his challenges.
Despite his frustrations, the Argentine rallied, and was able to break back the big-serving Fritz when he served for the match at 5-4.
Schwartzman forced the tie-break, and eventually set up a match point opportunity for himself by guiding a forehand winner beyond the wrong-footed Fritz at 5-5, when either man could have snatched a match-winning opportunity.
Cue a Fritz backhand fired into the net, and a loud scream from the South American accompanied it. Schwartzman is into the next round, where he will face Lorenzo Sonego or Nicolas Jarry.
Dimitrov, the No. 18 seed, beat Karen Khachanov in straight sets.
The Bulgarian started strongly, coming through 7-6(6) 6-4 after a tight first set, where both players had to deal with rain during a tense tie-break.
Dimitrov raced into a 4-1 lead in the breaker, and showed excellent net defence under pressure to palm a strong forehand volley out of the reach of the advancing Khachanov, who roared back to 5-6, but a Dimitrov kick serve saved the set point.
Khachanov, the No. 13 seed, then shanked a forehand into the tramlines at 6-7 down, and a half-hearted challenge of desperation did not prevent a Dimitrov fist pump, and Khachanov already walking off to his chair.
As the match progressed, Dimitrov got more and more into his stride, stepping inside the baseline to dictate rallies with his ferocious forehand and pinpoint accuracy off his one-handed backhand, which left Khachanov, so used to overpowering his opponents, a little out of ideas.
The Russian player, who suffered an early exit at the US Open by losing in the first round to Michael Mmoh, struggled to contend with Dimitrov’s commanding performance. The Bulgarian produced 32 winners compared to Khachanov’s 17, while also winning an impressive 85 percent of his first-serve points. His service accuracy continued to improve throughout the second set. Dimitrov ultimately sealed the match by delivering a powerful serve wide to Khachanov’s backhand, causing the return to sail long.
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Carlos Alcaraz has secured a spot in the Shanghai Masters’ round of 16 by defeating the familiar opponent, Dan Evans, in straight sets at Qizhong Stadium. The Spaniard exhibited remarkable speed, explosiveness, and power that proved too much for the British player. Although Evans managed to break the world No. 2 twice, he couldn’t maintain…