World no. 1 Carlos Alcaraz recorded his 56th ATP win of the season in the second round of the Paris Masters, defeating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 12 minutes. The young Spaniard will end the season as the year-end no. 1 player if he gets two good results in Paris and Turin.
He is struggling a bit with left knee pain but is looking forward to giving it his all over the next couple of weeks. Alcaraz hit nine aces and broke nine points in 10 service games. The teenager lost serve once from the only break point he faced, and Nishioka had to follow suit to stay competitive.
The Japanese was broken on the second serve and the world number one broke three times out of six chances given to him. It was Carlos who controlled the pace with 29 winners and 23 unforced errors.
Yoshihito followed his opponent’s pace in the mid-range and most long exchanges.
Carlos Alcaraz is off to a winning start at the Paris Masters.
However, his poor serves gave him no chance in the shortest range to four shots, hitting the exit gate with 18 points less than the Spaniard.
The Japanese got off to a strong start and were tied at love in the first game. Carlos responded with a forehand winner in the second game and Yoshihito held another at love for 2-1. Alcaraz locked the score at 2-2 and created two breakaway chances when the left-hander fouled out forehand.
The teenager converted the second with a winner at the net to build on his first advantage. Carlos held to love in the sixth game to consolidate the lead and hit a backhand crosscourt winner in the next game for a break chance. Nishioka parried and brought home the match to stay within a one-break deficit.
Yoshihito broke at 15 in the 8th game to tie the score at 4-4 and stay competitive. The Japanese spewed an unforced error in the ninth game, and the Spaniard made it 5-4 with a forehand crosscourt winner.
Alcaraz wrapped up the set 6-4 in 36 minutes with a forehand winner in game ten. With a boost on his side, Carlos kept the pressure on the other side, falling behind by two points to the opening shot of the second set. Nishioka avoided a break point in the first game with a breakaway winner and they stayed neck and neck at 4-4.
The returners managed just four points in seven service games, and that all changed in the ninth game. The Spaniard created break points with a backhand winner, and he grabbed the first with a forehand crosscourt winner that put him 5-4 up. Carlos held to love in game ten with a service winner for a winning start and a place in the third round.