Buenos Aires | Alcaraz downed by Jarry

The world No.2 and top seed at the Argentina Open, suffered an unexpected loss in defence of the title he won in Buenos Aires last year.

Carlos is one of the best players so it means a lot, especially after the battles I've had a couple of days ago Nicolas Jarry

Playing in his second tournament of the season and his first since falling in the quarters of the Australian Open, the 20-year-old from Murcia, Spain, was odds on favourite to retain his title and start building on the 12 titles he pocketed in previous seasons. In fact, he hasn’t won a title since Wimbledon last year making this his ninth consecutive title-less event.

For the 28-year-old Chilean, Nicola Jarry, the 7-6(2) 6-3 victory is the best win of his career as he continues his excellent run in the Argentine capital. In their previous two meetings, the Chilean had only claimed one set off the young Spaniard.

“Third time lucky,” Jarry said of his first success over the two-time grand slam champion. “Carlos is one of the best players so it means a lot, especially after the battles I’ve had a couple of days ago. It’s been very tough physically, so I’m very happy to be able to come back.

“I didn’t start very well and couldn’t win points on his serve, but I came back little by little.”

The 6’ 6” Jarry, the world No.21, held his nerve in the first set and delivered five aces on the clay courts of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club while Alcaraz was unable to deliver one. The pair held serve throughout the set but in the tie-break it was Jarry who edged ahead to claim it for the loss of just two points, negating Alcaraz’s power with some excellent returning.

The second set looked set to follow suit until the seventh game with Jarry 4-3 up, when he struck to secure a break to move just one game from victory, and the final.

Alcaraz put up some stiff resistance as the two fought over an extended period in the last frame taking Jarry to deuce, but the Chilean remained composed to claim his win.

After dropping serve at the beginning of the second set, Jarry immediately broke back for 1-1 and then claimed the decisive break in the eighth game.

In a tense final game that featured several breathtaking points, Jarry went down break point when he gambled on a big second serve at 30-all, double faulting for the first time in the match. He later double faulted a second time on match point before soon after closing out the win in one hour, 55 minutes.

Speaking after his win, Jarry, seeded three for the ATP 250 level event, said: “Carlos is one of the best players so it means a lot, especially after the battles I’ve had a couple of days ago. It’s been very tough physically, so I’m very happy to be able to come back.”


A disappointed Carlos Alcaraz leaves the court

(Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images,)

Alcaraz in the meantime, tried to take some positives from the loss.

“It’s a difficult defeat, it hurt me a lot,” Alcaraz said after the semi. “There are many things to improve, and my level has to go up. I played good tennis but very far from my real level.

“I felt good physically and it’s important, and I think that with work I will get better… but having opportunities, is difficult.

“The positive thing is that I see that I have a lot of things to improve. Learning that I have to read the matches better, to give my best version in the moments of tension. Today I lacked that in the 0-30, in the break-points, to be able to play differently there.”

Jarry, who notched up his 100th win on the tour in the second round, will face Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta, the 23-year-old wildcard ranked 87 who defeated his fifth seeded countryman Sebastian Baez 6-2 6-3 in just 84-minutes.


Facundo Diaz Acosta reaches the final

(Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)



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