Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz crashes out on Montreal debut

Carlos Alcaraz suffered a shock defeat to American Tommy Paul on Wednesday in the second round of the Rogers Cup.

Paul was impressive throughout the encounter, keeping his cool when it mattered to win 6-7 7-6 6-3 in three hours and 20 minutes.

Alcaraz was making his debut at the Rogers Cup, returning to the North American hardcourts for the first time since his victory at the Miami Open in April.

The 19-year-old has had a standout season so far, winning four titles, including two at Masters 1000 events. The Spaniard’s success in 2022 has catapulted him to a career high ranking of number four in the world.

And while both players faced early pressure on serve, it was Alcaraz who was first able to capitalise, hitting a crosscourt forehand passing shot on the stretch to break the American in the third game of the match.

But the Spaniard’s advantage did not last for long, as back-to-back errors handed the break back to Paul.

Although there were no more breaks of serve for the remainder of the set, it was Alcaraz who was able to produce his best tennis in the deciding tiebreak, claiming the opener 7-6.

The 19-year-old’s momentum carried through into the opening stages of the second set, as Alcaraz hit a sublime lob on break point to lead 2-0.

But Paul was not deterred and was able to put together a remarkable passage of play towards the end of the second set, levelling the match at 4-4, before once again breaking the Spaniard’s serve.

The set continued to prove far more topsy-turvy than the first, as Alcaraz immediately regained the break before both players held serve to force another tiebreak.

And this time it was the American who came up trumps, edging out the breaker by nine points to seven.

Alcaraz looked rattled by the turnaround and at the start of the final set dropped serve to trail by 4-1.

Despite saving four match points when 2-5 down, the Spaniard was ultimately unable to hang on as Paul calmly served out the match to claim an unexpected victory.

The American will now face either Marin Cilic or Karen Khachanov in the third round.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.