Carlos Alcaraz survived a match point and a serious scare to edge compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas in five sets at the 2022 French Open. The 19-year-old, who is one of the favourites to win the men’s singles title, was expected to handle this encounter without too much trouble. However, the all-Spanish second round battle proved to be one of the most exciting matches of the tournament so far.
Carlos Alcaraz def. Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-7(7) 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4
Alcaraz looked on course for a convincing victory after storming through the opening set in just 26 minutes. The World No. 6 broke his opponent to go up 3-1 and 5-1, before serving the set out. He lost just three points in four service games in the opener.
The teenage star did not face a break point in the second set, but was unable to convert four chances to break Ramos-Vinolas’–three at 2-2 and one at 3-3. The World No. 44 came from 2-4 behind in the tiebreak to level the match after converting his third set point.
In the third set, Ramos-Vinolas’s momentum continued as he broke Alcaraz for the first time to go up 2-1. The younger Spaniard broke back to level at 3-3, but was broken again by his 34-year-old opponent at 5-5. Ramos-Vinolas then served the set out to love to move closer to scoring a huge upset.
Alcaraz responded by breaking for a 2-0 lead in the fourth set, before losing his serve in the following game. In the ninth game, Ramos-Vinolas struck again to take a 5-4 and give himself a chance to serve for the match. The 19-year-old, though, broke back after saving a match point when Ramos-Vinolas netted a forehand.
Ramos-Vinolas saved three set points to win a marathon 19-point game and force a tiebreak. The World No. 6 held firm as he secured three mini-breaks to take the epic, one-hour-and-16-minute set to force a decider.
The 34-year-old reacted impressively by surging to a 3-0 lead in the fifth set, but Alcaraz hit back again. The 19-year-old broke back for 3-2, before breaking again to earn a 4-3 advantage. The drama continued as Ramos-Vinolas earned the 13th service break of the match to level at 4-4.
Alcaraz then earned the fifth break of the fifth set for 5-4 after showcasing remarkable speed and retrieval skills on his third break point, before serving out to love. The World No. 6 ultimately triumphed in four hours and 34 minutes in a memorable French Open second round contest. Alcaraz will face Sebastian Korda or Richard Gasquet in the third round.
Main Photo from Getty.