No. 1 seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz avoided a massive Round of 64 upset by rallying past Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 on Friday at the Mutua Madrid Open.
The world No. 2 from Spain pleased the home crowd by pushing past Ruusuvuori in the second set after falling behind 3-2. Five of Alcaraz’s 10 aces came in the second set, and he went 5-for-5 in saving break points.
“I would say I was about to lose,” Alcaraz said. “It was just one point. One of the break points he had at 2-3 in the second set was like a match point for him. I was really happy I was able to save that game and come back a bit. It was really tough. Emil played unbelievably, but I am really, really happy to get through that.”
It was Alcaraz’s first match of the tournament after a first-round bye. In the Round of 32, he’ll face No. 26 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who beat Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 7-6 (6), 7-6 (2) on Friday.
No. 3 seed Casper Ruud of Norway suffered a tough blow at the hands of Italian qualifier Matteo Arnaldi. Ruud is a clay-court specialist but lost in the second round in Madrid for the second straight year, as Arnaldi prevailed 6-3, 6-4.
Arnaldi won 28 of his 35 first-service points (80 percent), held a 6-4 advantage in aces and saved 6 of 7 break points. It was Arnaldi’s first career win against a top-10 ranked opponent.
“I don’t know what to say,” Arnaldi said. “In Barcelona I was playing very good, but coming here it is different. The ball bounces so high and I didn’t like it at first. I struggled a bit. But today, I don’t know, maybe the stadium, maybe the pressure on him, but I played the best match of my life.”
No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia eliminated Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-5, 6-4. Sixth seed Holger Rune of Denmark outlasted Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (9).
Russian No. 10 seed Karen Khachanov beat Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Polish 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz needed nearly two hours and 25 minutes to dispel Richard Gasquet of France 6-7 (9), 6-4, 7-5.
Germany qualifier Yannick Hanfmann upset No. 15 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy 6-4, 7-6 (3). Two other seeded players also bowed out: French qualifier Hugo Grenier topped American No. 22 Sebastian Korda 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7), and Spaniard Jaume Munar advanced after one set when 30th seed Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands retired.
Also advancing were No. 17 seed Borna Coric of Croatia, No. 20 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, No. 28 seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, No. 29 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain and Daniel Altmaier of Germany.
In the final match of the night, No. 13 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany got past Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-0. Zverev had a 12-2 edge in aces and saved 8 of 9 break points.
–Field Level Media