Carlos Alcaraz answers that no, that he does not feel that he is a chosen one or anything like that, but that he is simply Carlos, without more, a kid from Murcia who meets with his friends in the town square when he can and that yes, he has between eyebrows to be number one in tennis, but that essentially remains the same as always. Nothing out of the ordinary, he says. The facts, however, contradict him. Since this Sunday, veteran Peter Gojowczyk beaten down in the round of 16 by 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 and 6-0 (in 3h 31m), they insist that the Spanish -Frances Tiafoe or Fellix Augger- Aliassime for a place in the semifinals – it is made of a special paste and it goes at lightning speed, towards a space where only a very few privileged people can fit.

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To begin with, at 18 years and 123 days, he is already the youngest to land in the US Open quarterfinals since the American Andre Agassi achieved it in the 1988 edition, and he is the youngest in the Open Era. (from 68) since the Brazilian Thomas Koch did it in 1963. Also, with the confirmation of its explosion, it leaves another trace of precociousness, picking up the witness of the American Michael Chang (1990) as the most beardless tennis player who reaches the penultimate round of a large. That is, whatever happens, it will fly back home having made history. Alcaraz, then, may be wrong in the answer.

Considering what has been seen, his journey invites us to think that his sport has come up with another exceptional project, with a young man who, unlike the previous batch, has entered the house without knocking on the door or asking for permission, giving a sovereign kick and knocking it down. Enjoy Alcaraz and his hand the fan, New York, scene of an irruption such as has not been remembered for a long time. The outbreak occurred three days ago, when he knocked down Stefanos Tsitsipas, three of the world, by way of introduction. And now another certificate arrives, that the Murcian also knows how to suffer and clench his teeth when he plays, and that despite his youth he knows how to interpret games very well.

If before the Greek he solved the puzzle from acceleration to acceleration, straight and stepping on the ground, in front of Gojowczyk the script demanded to lower the revolutions and play something else. Another story. The German, one of those guys who doesn’t lose his composure or place under any circumstances, his bangs intact from start to finish, jostled onto the court, without hesitation, hitting the ball very hard and testing the serenity of the ball. guy. The warning came quickly: bombardment. That is, patience, patience, and more patience. Without losing that point of boldness and fire that he has, Alcaraz had to resort to restraint in the exchange. And, above all, to the mental shield.

From the outset, everything came out to the Spaniard, as if dragging the inertia of two nights ago. He shot out and started with two breaks, again dancing and exhibiting resources, as if it were going to be easy, but nothing of that. The circuit is a jungle that hides endless dangers and among that tangle of players that fluctuate in the depths of the ranking Seemingly harmless rivals appear who can make a good break at any moment. Gojowczyk (32 years and 141st in the world) did not appear as an insurmountable threat, beyond seniority and mileage, but as soon as he saw where the issue was going, he reached out and raised the war.

From 3-0 to the reply, and from there to the slap. Given the first set, Alcaraz realized that he had to regulate and select, that sometimes it is convenient to slow down, read and interpret. The domain is not reached by a single path. That is, the German required pause and rumination, ball from one side to the other to erode him and deprive him of that peripheral area from which he could hit comfortably, so it was applied and corrected. Alcaraz resisted when he had to, weathered the storm –he saved 11 break options– and knew how to strike in the precise moments of a very hard duel, from blow to blow, very violent the veteran’s right and fierce reaction that of the Spanish, cheered by the Grandstand.

Despite the gale, he straightened up and although things got ugly, ugly, two sets to one under and discomfort in the quadriceps first, and break against at the start of the fourth set, he recovered (from 0-1 to 4-1) and squeezed rude Gojowczyk until the musculature of the German, also a first-timer in about eighths, said enough. He received medical attention, but without being able to exercise the supports correctly, he raised the white flag with elegance, holding on to the track so as not to detract from the victory of a boy who continues to make his way. He gritted his teeth and rose Alcaraz, who has earned the right to dream these days in New York.

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