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Alcaraz Tops Musetti to Return to Roland Garros Quarterfinals

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain swept Lorenzo Musetti at Roland Garros. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Slide marks from physical rallies streaked the red clay like routes on a road map.

Master of misdirection Carlos Alcaraz dispensed scorched earth attack surging into his second straight Roland Garros quarterfinal.

In a highly-entertaining shotmakers’ duel, Alcaraz subdued Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier taking one step closer toward a potential French Open semifinal showdown vs. Novak Djokovic.

World No. 1 Alcaraz raised his 2023 record to 34-3, including a 24-2 mark on clay. Neither of the two men who beat Alcaraz on clay this season are alive in the draw.

“I think this was my best match in the tournament so far. Yeah, I think I played a good level,” Alcaraz said afterward.

US Open champion Alcaraz rides a 10-match Grand Slam winning streak into the quarterfinals against either fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas or 118th-ranked Sebastian Ofner.

Earlier, a focused Djokovic dismantled Juan Pablo Varillas 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to soar into a Roland Garros record 17th quarterfinal.

No. 3-seeded Djokovic has swept all 12 sets he’s played in Paris this week.

While the top seed dropped one set in his second-round match, Alcaraz applied all-court acumen and soft touch to carve up the supreme problem solver—and settle a score in Paris today.

The 17th-seeded Musetti toppled Alcaraz 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 to capture his maiden ATP title in Hamburg last July. Ahead of this Roland Garros rematch, Alcaraz said “I really want to play that match.”

The 21-year-old Musetti had not dropped a set and had held in 36 of 39 service games entering this fourth-round showdown. Alcaraz converted seven of 14 break-point chances today.

Explosiveness helped Alcaraz avenge that Hamburg loss. Hitting his forehand bigger and playing from proactive court positioning, Alcaraz more than doubled Musetti’s winner total—42 to 17—and showed killer instinct at net winning 26 of 33 trips to net.

In a spectacular start, Musetti slashed a one-handed backhand bolt—his second backhand winner of the game—to break the world No. 1 in the opening game. Musetti backed up the break at 15 for 2-0.

Alcaraz answered winning six of the next seven games to snatch a one-set lead.

Defusing drama, Alcaraz flowed through a solid hold at 15 to go up a set and 4-2.

Committing a pair of double faults, things began to unravel for Musetti who faced a break point in the seventh game. His first serve was called out, but Alcaraz showed his sportsmanship, checking the mark and awarding Musetti a second serve. Though Musetti dodged that break point he scattered a forehand wide on the third break point as Alcaraz broke for 5-2.

Alcaraz slid his fourth ace down the T, sealing his fourth love hold of the match for a two set lead after one hour, 24 minutes.

An ability to accelerate through his forehand from seemingly the same backswing, makes Alcaraz’s forehand both damaging and difficult to read. Patrolling the baseline, Alcaraz blew up a rally blasting a 90 mph forehand crosscourt for break point in the fifth game.