Given the ranking of both players [2 vs 65], their achievements, and the fact Struff had won five tough matches in a row, everything could indicate easy money for the fresh 20-year-old Spaniard. Nevertheless their H2H gave the German reasons to be optimistic: two years ago when Alcaraz was just gathering valuable experiences, Struff defeated him easily at Roland Garros; last year when Alcaraz was already a Top 5 player, Struff almost eliminated him from Wimbledon (four points away to win 3-1)… In the 1st set the German, first ‘lucky loser’ finalist in history of Masters 1K, was serving poorly (two double faults already in the opening game), but he was good at the net & his forehand was fine, thus he caught a positive vibe which helped him to break Alcaraz at the beginning of the 2nd set. Playing very risky tennis, Struff had a break point at 1-all in the decider, but Alcaraz raced to a 4:1 lead, and won his last 15 points on serve. “Of course I wanted to go all the way to win today, but I would definitely say if someone told me two weeks ago you’re going to play the finals, I would take it,” Struff later added. “I’m proud of the way I played. I am proud of the way I presented myself today.” It’s pretty remarkable that it was just second ATP final in Struff’s career because he has defeated many Top 20 players over the years in “best of three” and “best of five” matches. He hasn’t got any weaknesses in his game.
Alcaraz’s route to his 13th title:
2 Emil Ruusuvuori 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
3 Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 7-5
4 Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-2
Q Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-5
S Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3
W Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
You must be logged in to post a comment.