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Tennis: Monfils stopped by Alcaraz in Miami

Carlos Alcaraz, seeded N.

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Tennis: Monfils stopped by Alcaraz in Miami

Carlos Alcaraz, seeded N.1, qualified for the fourth round of the Masters 1000 in Miami, Florida, by beating French veteran Gaël Monfils 6-2, 6-4, Monday at Hard Rock Stadium. The 37-year-old “Monf’” resisted the Spaniard’s powerful blows well until he injured his ankle in the fifth game.

Although Monfils continued to be combative, forcing Alcaraz into spectacular defensive moves, the world number two was too strong for the Parisian.

The smiles were numerous, between the occasional grimaces of the Ile-de-France native, currently 47th in the world, who enjoyed some entertaining exchanges where Alcaraz was able to show the finesse of his touch.

With the outcome of the match seemingly a formality, Alcaraz eased off the accelerator and Monfils was able to break for the first time to reduce the deficit to 5-3 in the second set.

Monfils then held his serve with a brilliant crosscourt winner before Alcaraz won to advance to the fourth round against either Italian Lorenzo Musetti or American Ben Shelton.

“He's a great athlete,” Alcaraz said of Monfils, “he reads almost every ball, so I had to be patient but at the same time, with my forehand, my best shot, trying to move it on the short, to tire him out a little and give me the chance to dominate the point, to go to the net, to hit my best shot.

Earlier, the German Alexander Zverev, seeded No. 4, emerged from a delicate duel against the American Christopher Eubanks, winning 7-6 (7/4), 6-3. The Australian Alex De Minaur (10th in the world) won 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 against the German Jan-Lennard Struff (25th).

De Minaur will face Fabian Marozsan in the next round after the Hungarian, ranked 57th in the world, continued his impressive run in the tournament by beating Australian Alexei Popyrin (45th) 7-5, 6-3.

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