World no.1 Carlos Alcaraz defeated American Tommy Paul in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. The Spanish teenager is still on course for the Sunshine Double after he outclassed Paul 6-4, 6-4 to extend his winning streak to nine matches, maintaining his sensational run in 2023. Alcaraz must defend his title in Miami to stay as the No.1 player in the ATP rankings. The 19-year-old Spaniard has been beaten just once this season, losing to Cameron Norrie in the summit clash of the Rio Open. Alcaraz, who is yet to drop a set this month, will face another American Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals.
Ninth seeded Fritz defeated Denmark’s Holger Rune in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last eight stage. Meanwhile, Russian Karen Khachanov registered his first victory over second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a tight contest. Khanchanov defeated the Greek player 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to advance to the quarter-finals. The 26-year-old Russian will play the winner of the round-of-16 tie between Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego and Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina. Sonego’s compatriot Jannik Sinner stunned Russian top-seed Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and will play Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the last eight.
Both Alcaraz and Paul played some outstanding shots and rallies throughout the match to delight the crowd in Florida, but it was the Spanish teenager who came out at top. Both players traded points and the opening four games were shared. However, Alcaraz won a spectacular point where he ran from the back of the court to get a ball back in play on his way to break Paul to go 3-2 ahead.
Minutes later, the Spaniard missed an excellent opportunity for a double break and the American had a break point chance at 5-4 down, but he failed to grab it as Alcaraz served himself out of trouble to seal the opening set in 49 minutes. Alcaraz played stronger and with brilliance in the second set, continuing to apply plenty of pressure with his big forehand. The U.S. Open champion made the decisive break in the third game and his opponent was unable to do much on the serve to break back. Alcaraz played with complete dedication, hitting 22 winners and winning 12 of 13 net points.
I feel at home here. It is easy to play in Miami with all the energy I receive every day and it is amazing, said Alcaraz. I play at such a high level for every match and hope to play the same level in the quarter-finals, concluded Alcaraz.