The goal remains intact. Carlos Alcaraz beat the American Tommy Paul in the second round (6-4 and 6-4, narration and statistics) and maintains his options to take his second Masters 1000 in Miami, defend the number one ranking one more week and be the youngest in history to score the Sunshine Double, Indian Wells and the old Key Biscayne. It's not turkey mucus.

The Murcian achieved it in two sets and with the solvency that he has been exhibiting in recent weeks, with constant moments of brilliance that have made him a phenomenon of world tennis with only 19 years. With yesterday's there are already nine consecutive victories and without giving up a single round. He is going through a sensational moment.

The Spaniard ran into a rival of care in the second round, a powerful 185-centimeter tall sacador located in the Top 20 at 25 years old. Paul is the first American to reach an Australian Open semi-final since Andy Roddick in 2006. He couldn't with Novak Djokovic, but never before had he come this far in a Grand Slam. He can also boast of having beaten Alcaraz in his only previous meeting, in August of last year at the Montreal Masters.

El Palmar knew well that it could be a demanding match. "He does everything right," he said at the pre-match press conference. "He moves well. It's fast. He has big punches, big forehands, big backhand. It's going to be very, very tough." But the number one, who seeks to repeat triumph in Miami to stay at the top of the ranking, evolves with each passing tournament. His status as favorite is indisputable against almost any rival.

Against New Jersey he deployed it immediately, dominating the points from the back of the court and connecting winners that were undermining the confidence of the American. There was no response to the exhibition of Alcaraz, who scored the fifth game blank on the service of his rival and again took Paul to the limit to maintain his serve in the seventh game (4-3), trying not to say goodbye before time of the sleeve.

As against Lajovic, Alcaraz struggled to close the set. Paul came to force a break point, but the number one did not worry and resolved with another deadly left to put his passage to the quarterfinals on track. The second set maintained a similar tone. The Indian Wells champion managed the break in the third game and dazzled the stands with his enormous ability to defend in committed points. It has plenty of legs and head.

Taylor Fritz awaits him in the quarterfinals, number 10 in the world, on his way to the ninth title of his career. Fritz defeated Rafa Nadal in last year's Indian Wells final and has started the year in great form. He has 20 wins and five losses in 2023, an interesting litmus test for an Alcaraz in a state of glory.

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  • Carlos Alcaraz
  • Rafa Nadal
  • tennis