ATP Madrid: Carlos Alcaraz overcomes slow start and beats Emil Ruusuvuori


World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz worked hard in his first match at this year’s Madrid Masters. The home favorite faced another young gun Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round and scored a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph in two hours and 16 minutes. The Spaniard made a slow start and played one of his worst sets in 2023 before stepping in and taking control. Carlos survived a massive scare in the second set’s sixth game and gained a boost, playing better in the encounter’s second part to reach the third round. Alcaraz fired 32 service winners and landed 35 winners and 33 unforced errors. Ruusuvuori took only two points fewer than Alcaraz, giving his best in sets one and two before losing ground in the decider. Carlos had a slight edge in the shortest range up to four strokes, and Emil erased it in the more advanced rallies to give himself a chance to beat world no. 2 in straight sets.

Carlos Alcaraz beat Emil Ruusuvuori in three sets in Madrid. 

The Finn made a flying start, barely losing a point in his serve in the opener and mounting the pressure on the other side. Emil forced Carlos’ error in the fourth game to seize the second break chance and open a 3-1 gap. Ruusuvuori held at love in game five to confirm the lead and settle into a fine rhythm. The Finn fired another service winner in game seven to embrace a hold at love and move 5-2 in front. Pushing strong on the return in game eight, the lower-ranked player created four set points and seized the last after Alcaraz’s backhand error for 6-2 in 36 minutes. Emil still served well at the start of the second set, keeping his rival far away from the break points and moving 3-2 in front against frustrated Carlos. The Spaniard had to give his everything to stay on the positive side after facing five break points.

The home favorite denied four with winners and made a decisive hold with a cracking backhand down the line winner. Carlos grabbed his first break in the next one after Emil’s loose backhand, moving 4-3 in front and gaining a massive boost. Alcaraz confirmed the break with a hold after deuce in game eight and wrapped up the set with four winners at 5-4 to introduce a decider. Ruusuvuori squandered game points at the start of the third set and got broken after a forced error. Carlos confirmed it and held in game four with a service winner for 3-1. World no. 2 broke again in the fifth game at love with a smash winner and earned a match point on the return at 5-1. Emil saved it and held to prolong the action. Alcaraz served for the victory at 5-2 and moved over the top with a service winner. 

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