Carlo Alcaraz‘s power proved too much for Home Hope Jenson Brooksby‘s guile on Saturday at the US Openwhere the Spaniard prevailed 6-3 6-3 6-3 in the third round of the Hard Court Grand Slam in New York.
After Alcaraz comfortably won the opening in two sets Arthur Ashe Stadium nullified, he nullified a Brooksby surge in the early stages of the third to maintain his perfect record over those two weeks. The Spaniard went on to play six straight games to rebound from a 0-3 double-break deficit and complete a two-hour, 11-minute win in which he beat 46 winners to Brooksby’s 10.
“I played really, really well,” Alcaraz said in his on-pitch interview. “High level, high intensity, I knew it was going to be a tough match. Brooksby is a really tough opponent but I’m very happy with my performance today and will continue.”
Alcaraz arrived in New York chasing his first Major crown, but also knowing that reaching the championship game in New York could be enough to propel him to the youngest No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP rankings on September 12 close. Despite being so busy the Spaniard showed little nerve in the first week at Flushing Meadows, where he didn’t lose a set Sebastian Bass, Federico Coria or Brooksby.
The win makes 19-year-old Alcaraz the youngest male player to reach the fourth round of the tournament US Open in consecutive years since the legendary American Peter Sampras 1989-90. The Spaniard’s next opponent at Flushing Meadows will be the 15th seed Marin Cilic.
Alcaraz had been aggressive from the start in his first tour-level encounter with 21-year-old Brooksby, who initially seemed happy to be able to absorb the pressure from his opponent. However, the Spaniard broke through the American’s defense to earn a crucial break in game six of the first set with a searing cross-court forehand winner, and he overpowered Brooksby from the baseline in a second set where he forced three breaks from serve .
A change in Brooksby’s approach early in the third set saw the American start hitting the ball with more intent to maneuver Alcaraz on the court with more effect. Despite the change in momentum and Brooksby’s break of serve from the Spaniard for his 3-0 lead, Alcaraz raised his level yet again to roar back and complete his 47th tour-level win of 2022.
“I knew I would have my chances in the third set and I knew he would [lose] his level a bit and I had to take my chance in the third set,” said Alcaraz. “In the difficult moments, in the break points, I played really, really well. I enjoyed it. I was there the whole time and took my chances in the third set.”
“Another week. It is [a] fantastic achievement for me. I would say the best tournament of my career is taking place here [the] US Open. Not just from 2014, but overall. I always feel fantastic here,” said Cilic. “Today’s game was a tough fight.”