Tommy Paul defeats Carlos Alcaraz

Tommy Paul defeated the World No. 1 in the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers quarterfinals on Friday, he snapped Carlos Alcaraz's 14-match winning run

(Tennis news) To defeat the top seed 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and go to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, the American made clean contact with the ball. In order to achieve his first victory over a World No. 1, the 26-year-old, who defeated Alcaraz in Montreal last year, demonstrated all-court coverage and frequently looked for openings to advance.

“I played a really good match today. I really went after my shots,” Paul said in his on-court interview. “You can’t start any points on your heels against him or he’ll take advantage of that. So you really have to go after your shots early in the rally and I was feeling really good on the first-strike tennis. That was the difference today.”

In the two hours and 20 minutes of play, the 12th seed won 21 of 23 net points and pressured Alcaraz with aggressive returning as the Spaniard made 17 unforced forehand mistakes.

Paul maintained his composure to finish the match in the following game despite getting broken while serving for the opening set at 5-2. In contrast to the World No. 14 who displayed a seamless transition from defence to offence to advance to the final four, Alcaraz became agitated with his unforced errors.

The second set saw the Spaniard step up his game, winning 10 straight games from a point down after hitting a tweener past Paul to raise the Toronto audience to their feet. But Paul took the upper hand by getting a break in the sixth game of the final set and winning 76% of the points in the tiebreaker with his first serve. 

In their Lexus ATP Head2Head matchup, the former tour-level champion rose to 2-1 while Alcaraz fell to 49-5 overall. Last year, Paul defeated Alcaraz in Montreal after saving a match point.

“It helps knowing that you can beat your opponent,” Paul said. “You never want to walk on the court and be like ‘I don’t know if I can beat this guy’. It’s the attitude you’ve got to have no matter who you are playing. I would say it helped a little bit.”

Paul, an Australian Open semifinalist this year, will next face Jannik Sinner, the seventh seed. The New Jersey native is ranked No. 12 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, which is a career high.

Alcaraz, who has won six tour-level championships this season, lost for the first time since Roland Garros. In addition, it was his first quarterfinal defeat in 10 attempts during the previous eight games of the year. Next week in Cincinnati, where they are scheduled to face in the third round, he might run across Paul once more.

Also read: Iga Swiatek stays world No.1


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