Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz was delighted with victory in his entertaining third round clash with Dan Evans, but cherished his opponent’s smile on court just as much.
The players really brought out their finest craft to put on a show in a match that didn’t seem like it took three hours and ten minutes to complete.
Evans was the first player to take a set off of Alcaraz in his run in New York but having clawed back to 2-1 down Evans couldn’t make good the comeback.
Alcaraz secured a 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Evans that extends his head-to-head advantage over the Brit to 3-0.
Evans used every trick at his disposal to make life difficult for the world No 1 in what proved to be an engaging contest at the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court.
“He’s a tricky opponent. He always wants to go to the net. Great slices, good touch,” said Alcaraz of Evans in his on-court interview.
“I think this is my game as well, so we played a pretty good match. I think the people loved that. We made great points, great shots, a lot of different situations probably than in other matches. I’m really happy to get through and play the fourth round again in the US Open.”
Alcaraz needed to find his best game to put down the challenge of Evans and this outing will stand him in good stead going forward in his defence.
The Spaniard felt that the match was full of joyful tennis and hoped that the crowd enjoyed the show.
“We played great points that made us smile,” said Alcaraz. “Daniel as well. It’s great to see that on a tennis court. Obviously, we play to make the people happy as well, to entertain them and try to make the match fun. It’s great to have that kind of point as well and feel the energy that [the crowd] are enjoying it as well.”
There were occasions were Alcaraz left Evans dumbfounded by his incredible shotmaking.
His path to the last eight appears to have opened up a little with Matteo Arnaldi his next opponent.
Alcaraz has set out his stall to become the first man to defend the US Open title since Roger Federer’s sequence of five tournament wins in a row between 2004 and 2008.
“Obviously I focus day by day,” said Alcaraz.
“Defending the title here is a goal for me. I know that nobody has defended the title since Roger Federer, so I would love to be part of tournament history with Roger. This is my main goal right now and I am looking for that.”
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