The 20-year-old Spaniard, who achieved a quarter-final finish in his debut appearance at Roland Garros last year, showcased his formidable skills once again. Alcaraz’s remarkable performance sets up a potential mouthwatering semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic, should he overcome his next opponent, either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Sebastian Ofner.
On paper, Musetti appeared to possess the necessary tools to pose a challenge to Alcaraz, including his deft touch, superb backhand, and a previous clay victory over his Spanish counterpart. However, on the court, Musetti failed to trouble Alcaraz, who maintained control throughout the match, demonstrating his superior abilities and leaving his opponent with no answers.
Alcaraz had way too much firepower and grit for the 17th seed, who also got tortured at the net on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“I had a high quality of shots, I played really aggressive and he played a complete match from the first point to the last so I’m happy to be through to the next round,” said Alcaraz, watched by his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, who lifted the Musketeers Cup 20 years ago.
“I try not to think about being world number one or the pressure. All these thoughts, I keep them out of my mind. I just want to enjoy myself, entertain the crowd, and smile. This is the key to everything.”
Musetti won the first two games of the match but it was all downhill from there as he hit a brick wall, Alcaraz finding the best defence in all circumstances and relentlessly attacking when he saw the tightest opening.
The Spaniard bagged five games in a row and the first set quickly before getting a 2-0 advantage in the second, finding gravity-defying angles and showing his outstanding skills at the net.
Musetti fought back for 2-2 but that was not enough to unsettle Alcaraz, who peppered the court with winners including jaw-dropping shots over, or around, the net.
Alcaraz won four games in a row to take the second set and finished his demolition job in the third.
(With Reuters Inputs)