‘Nobody deserves this’ – Carlos Alcaraz into second round following opponent retirement
Carlos Alcaraz fought a tough battle before his adversary Sebastian Baez was eventually forced to end their encounter in the third set.
But the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium was still treated to some brilliant play over two and a half hours before Alcaraz won 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 ret.
The 19-year-old third seed hailed his 21-year-old opponent for his grit before the unfortunate retirement with a leg injury.
“Nobody wants to see a match end like this,” he said in his post-match interview. “Both players and all of you don’t deserve an end like this. Sebastian is a great player, he fights until the last ball. So he deserves the best.”
The conditions in the midday New York sun were tough for both men, but Alcaraz had plenty of support to get through it.
“In the second set it was really tough for me to stay at [a high] level physically and mentally. But obviously the energy that I received here on Arthur Ashe from all of you is something special. Thanks to that I could handle the heat and the tough moments.”
This time last year, Alcaraz came into the US Open ranked 54 in the world and with one tour title to his name. He is now world number four and double Masters champion, plus has reached the quarter-finals of a Slam on two occasions, including during his debut in Flushing Meadows last year.
“Last year was one of the best moments of my life and my career,” Alcaraz admitted. “One year later, being four in the world, it’s special for me. To come back here on Arthur Ashe in the biggest tennis stadium in the world. It’s unbelievable for me.”
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