Carlos Alcaraz battles past Berrettini to make Wimbledon quarter-final debut
Carlos Alcaraz is writing his own history as the Murcian, at 20 years and 72 days, has become on Monday the youngest player in the Wimbledon quarterfinals since Nick Kyrgios in 2014 (19 years and 70 days).
The tennis player has made an exercise of escapism getting out of the trap that Matteo Berrettini had set for him.
The Italian was a worthy opponent until he bent the knee, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, in three hours and 5 minutes.
Alcaraz needed four match points to seal the victory, with his nerves on show.
Matches on grass are defined by small details as shown by the fact that Alcaraz had two break points in the first game and he could not convert them.
He had a third in the seventh round and did not materialize it either as his rival took advantage of his imposing serve in the moments of maximum pressure.
Berrettini ended up taking the opening set with a break in the eighth game.
The Italian recalled his form from when he reached the Wimbledon final in 2021 and won four titles on grass: two at Queen’s (2021 and 2022) and two more in Stuttgart (2019 and 2022).
“Strong hand,” claimed the Spaniard to try to neutralize missiles that arrived at 217 kilometers per hour.
Carlitos missed a fourth break option at the start of the second set, but he had started serving so he had the feeling that he was ahead on the scoreboard.
Matteo had arrived just in time for Wimbledon because he had withdrawn from Queen’s without even stepping on the courts.
Alcaraz kept the cruising pace and his opponent kept up but finally the world number one took Berrettini’s serve and shot the score to 4-1.
The pupil of Juan Carlos Ferrero was right with the reading of a match that was presumed to be a battle.
The Roman defied the tournament’s dress code, which requires players to wear all-white, with all-black anklets.
He had ceased to be a problem in the return because Carlitos had increased the effectiveness with the first serves and the beginning of the third set was presented as decisive because the forces of both began to falter.
The best tennis player on the planet knew it and gritted his teeth to take Berrettini’s serve as he had a 0-40 with 1-1 and two advantages.
Alcaraz made the break with a shot that was equivalent to a ticket to a quarterfinal.
His team, in full, stood up, and with good reason, and he even had the ball to make it 4-1.
The Italian was grasping at straws as the Spaniard enjoyed the first two breaks of the third set to the rest, with 5-3 and 15-40.
He converted the third after a forehand that traveled at 167 kilometers per hour, and he started serving in the fourth set.
Matteo was wobbling and Carlitos seemed to give him life with two double faults in a row, but he was able to save that situation and took directly the highway to victory.
The rain had given a truce and the game was played with the roof open, though nobody moved from their seat because every point was a tribute to tennis.
However, the court was covered in order to turn on the artificial light that allowed the game to end as the chair umpire gave a three-minute warm-up.
Carlitos is the 13th member of the ‘Armada’ to make the top eight at Wimbledon and the fourth still active player alongside Rafael Nadal (8), Roberto Bautista (1) and Fernando Verdasco (1).
The 13 Spaniards that have made Wimbledon quarter-finals
- Manuel de Gomar
- Enrique Maier
- Manuel Alonso
- Manolo Santana
- Andres Gimeno
- Manolo Orantes
- Juan Carlos Ferrero
- Rafael Nadal
- David Ferrer
- Feliciano Lopez
- Fernando Verdasco
- Roberto Bautista
- Carlos Alcaraz