Top star Alcaraz ends fairy tales: Struff misses a sensation after a great fight


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Top star Alcaraz ends fairy tales
Struff misses a sensation after a great fight

Jan-Lennard Struff struggles, but at the end of a phenomenal week in Madrid, the German tennis player runs out of strength. In the final he had to admit defeat to Spanish top player Carlos Alcaraz. Nevertheless, Struff celebrates the greatest success of his career.

Jan-Lennard Struff went to the other side of the net and congratulated the detached cheering Carlos Alcaraz. The final of the ATP Masters in Madrid had the expected winner, but at the end of his “mad week” the 33-year-old Warsteiner unexpectedly stood up to the Spanish defending champion and even sniffed the sensation.

Despite the 4: 6, 6: 3, 3: 6 against the second in the world rankings, Struff was also a winner in the Caja Magica. “It was a great two weeks for me,” said Struff to the warm applause of the Spanish fans, who took him to their hearts during the tournament: “It was great to get a second chance here. Thanks for the support everyone !” Struff was actually already eliminated in the qualification, but he moved up into the main draw as a lucky loser and started a remarkable triumph that catapulted him up in the world rankings.

On Monday Struff, who played himself into the hearts of many fans, will be in 28th position and thus higher than ever in his career. He started the season in 150th place after worrying about injury last year. However, Struff has to wait for his first tournament victory on the ATP tour. Alcaraz was a size too big, even if he had to stretch a lot more than in his clear final victory in Madrid last year against Olympic champion Alexander Zverev.

Already the fourth title of the season for Alcaraz

World number two Alcaraz secured his tenth title and his fourth this season. After winning the tournament in Barcelona, ​​he repeated the Spain double. At the French Open in Paris (from May 28th) Alcaraz starts as a favorite, but Struff can also calculate chances at the peak of the clay court season. The Davis Cup player will be one of the 32 seeds, avoiding the top stars in the early rounds. And according to national tennis coach Michael Kohlmann, Struff has far from exhausted his potential. “If it were possible, I would buy Struff shares now,” Kohlmann told the sports information service before the final.

With the success of Madrid behind him, the German Davis Cup captain has confidence in his protégé even at the high point of the clay court season in the French capital. “Jan-Lennard has a great position, many wins and a lot of self-confidence,” said the Kohlmann, but also warned: “Madrid is at 700 meters and is therefore much faster than other clay court tournaments. That suits him. But they are also in Roland Garros Clay courts fast.”

Start with fluttering nerves

Against Alcaraz and in front of 12,500 mostly Spanish fans, veteran Struff first had to get his nerves under control in the most important match of his career, he gave up his first service game after two double errors. The German ticked off this blow in the neck in an impressive way: Struff then sought his salvation in the attack – and broke to 2: 2.

Alcaraz was impressed by Struff’s courageous demeanor, he struggled with his own performance. But the US Open winner was able to up the ante towards the end of the first set. His shots became more precise, Alcaraz pushed himself with “Vamos” calls, after 52 minutes he got the first round. Anyone who thought that Struff’s resistance would be broken was wrong. The Warsteiner broke Alcaraz at the beginning of the second round and took a 3-0 lead. He got the game to 4:1 after 15 minutes and a little later also the sentence. In the decision-making process, Alcaraz then pressed the reset button. He sometimes played powerfully and sometimes emotionally, the winning shots came at once, the fans raged. Struff struggled in vain against the defeat.

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