Match reports

Alcaraz shocked out of the IBI23 by Marozsan

The Hungarian qualifier took down the second seed in straight sets

Fabian Marozsan became the first ever player ranked outside of the top 100 to upset one of the best two players in the world in the main draw of the ATP Masters 1000 of Rome. The Hungarian qualifier performed the match of his lifetime to shock Carlos Alcaraz 6-3 7-6(4).

In front of numerous famous faces amidst a crowded Campo Centrale, including football star Francesco Totti, the soon-to-be number 1 in the world Alcaraz started the match looking ready for a strong performance. Right off the blocks, the Spaniard had the first chance to break his opponent, but nobody could have guessed that the only other break point he would have on the Hungarian serve would come almost an hour later in the second set.

Marozsan put on a fabulous display of power tennis, putting Alcaraz on the ropes and leaving him guessing on return. With a clever mix of hard hitting and well-placed dropshots, the qualifier piled up 14 winners to just 3 errors to seal the first set with a love hold.

The world number 135 kept executing his tactics with precision, but the second seed was not to give up. Despite a difficult day, where he looked tired, mostly mentally, Alcaraz put up a fight worth his name: in the third game he came back from 0-40 and tried to elevate his level of game.

The qualifier broke minutes later with a stunning lob, but up a set and a break in front of thousands of screaming fans, he had the first -and eventually only- hesitation. Alcaraz broke back for a 4-all and then the set followed the service games until the tiebreak.

Marozsan was the first to lose a point on serve, but instead of panicking and letting the set slip from his hands, he kept his cool and executed the same game that had him dominating the first set. From 4-1 in favour of the Spaniard, the Hungarian won 6 consecutive points for the biggest win in his career.

Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan celebrates after defeating Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz during their third round match of the Men’s ATP Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May 15, 2023. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)

Right after the loss, Alcaraz explained that he felt well physically, but could not play the tennis he wanted due to a very inspired opponent: “He played his match, he plays at a really high level. I couldn’t follow his level. I mean, he was at the same level the whole match. That is very, very difficult. Yeah, I try to fight until the last ball, but it wasn’t enough. Of course, in the second set, it was close. Of course, he deserves the win. If he plays at that level, he’s going to surprise more than one“.

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