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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, March 12, 2024


Carlos Alcaraz carved up Fabian Marozsan 6-3, 6-3 charging into the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals with his 50th Masters 1000 win.

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty

Champions welcome willful amnesia.

The best players forget the last point, the last error, the last loss and live in the now.

Djokovic: Have to Accept It

Carlos Alcaraz relishes total recall.

Recalling his shocking Rome loss to Fabian Marozsan last May, Carlos Alcaraz was eager to get even today.

Defending champion Alcaraz carved up Marozsan 6-3, 6-3 charging into the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals with his ninth straight Indian Wells win.

Elevating his play with each round, Alcaraz is amping up his confidence.

Today, Alcaraz felt nearly perfect in Paradise.

"Let's say almost perfect. I always say I can be better, can play better," Alcaraz said. "But really happy with the way that I approach the match, the way that I played, and my feelings.

"You know, I think I moved well. I controlled very well the timing of the match. In the toughest points, toughest moments, breakpoints down, breakpoints up, I managed very well that timing. Yeah, my confidence is getting higher."

The Wimbledon winner imposed both his offensive and defensive skills realizing a piece of personal payback. Alcaraz served 63 percent, permitted just five points on his first serve and saved both break points he faced, raising his 2024 record to 9-3.

It was Alcaraz’s 50th career Masters 1000 win and sends him into a quarterfinal clash against either 10th-seeded Aussie Alex de Minaur or Olympic gold-medal champion Alexander Zverev, who knocked Alcaraz out of the Australian Open quarterfinals with a superb serving performance last January.

In Rome last May, calm and clever qualifier Marozsan streaked through six straight points stunning Alcaraz 6-3, 7-6(4) to snap the Spaniard's 12-match winning streak. In that match, Marozsan delivered doses of Alcaraz’s drop-shot medicine against him.

In today’s rematch, Alcaraz was flying around the court intent on imposing his forehand. It was a match of variety from both sides. Alcaraz’s explosiveness helped him produce personal payback today.

Serving at 4-2 in the second set, Alcaraz lulled Marozsan into placid positioning with a series of feather duster slice backhands before abruptly annihilating a 105 mph forehand blast down the line that drew gasps from some in the crowd.

Alcaraz picked the right times to go big, belting 23 winners—12 more than Marozsan—-and served with more command as the match progressed slamming three love holds in his final four service games.

The 24-year-old Marozsan stayed in step through six games.

The defending champion made his move in the seventh game. As Marozsan was squinting serving into the sun, Alcaraz played precise baseline combinations, winning a 20-shot rally for love-30 then earning triple break point.

On his third break point, Alcaraz jammed a jolting forehand to rattle another error and break with a clenched fist for 4-3.

A sliding forehand get from the corner helped Alcaraz consolidate at 15 for 5-3.

The world No. 58 double faulted into net to face a set point.

Lining up his two-hander, Alcaraz slammed a backhand pass down the line snatching a one-set lead after 41 minutes with his second straight break.

The slow, gritty court provides a platform for Alcaraz’s speed and shotmaking.

"I think the conditions here suits very well to my game. I feel really comfortable in this court, in this tournament," Alcaraz said. "I feel really well. Not only on the court, off the court as well. I think it's really important for the players to feel relaxed, to feel calm or feeling really well, you know, off the court. Turn off your mind a little bit, not think about tennis 100% of the time.

"For me, it relax me very, very well. For me it's playing golf. I can do it here very well and too much.

"I love playing these courts."

In this match, the second-seeded Spaniard displayed both offensive and defensive prowess—sometimes with the court of the same point.

Racing up to a short Marozsan volley, Alcaraz curled a running pass down the line breaking for 4-2.

Wearing blue kinesiology tape on the inside of his right leg, Marozsan earned double break point in the seventh game.

Saving both break points, Alcaraz turned up the audacity.

Engaging the Hungarian in a crosscourt slice to slice exchange, Alcaraz stepped around his backhand and vaporized a 105 mph forehand winner down the line he punctuated with a loud grunt for game point.

Alcaraz scorched his fourth ace down the T to consolidate for 5-2.

Dancing around his backhand, Alcaraz drilled a diagonal forehand winner sealing a 75-minute sweep with his third love hold of the second set.


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