Carlos Alcaraz faced a demanding challenge from Daniel Evans on Monday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters but managed to secure a 7-6(1), 6-4 victory, significantly enhancing his prospects for claiming the top spot in the ATP Year-End rankings, presented by Pepperstone.
Despite being a newcomer to the Shanghai tournament, the Spanish player exhibited remarkable skill in handling Evans’ court craft, relying on his own agility and power to emerge victorious in a series of physically demanding exchanges.
This win improved his impressive year-to-date record to 41 wins and just one loss against opponents ranked outside the Top 20.
Alcaraz’s exceptional depth and precision in their third-round encounter left Evans frustrated, especially as Alcaraz staged a comeback after falling behind in the first set.
Impressively, he committed only two unforced errors in the second set, further solidifying his dominance with a 4-0 record in their head-to-head matches in the Lexus ATP series.
“It was a really tough match. It was one of the toughest matches I have played outside of the Grand Slams,” Alcaraz said. “Every time I play Daniel it is a tricky match and I have to play my best to beat him… Both of us played high-quality tennis and I am really happy to get through.”
Alcaraz Eyes No. 1 Spot and Third ATP Masters 1000 Title
The 20-year-old has cut Novak Djokovic’s lead in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race to Turin to 500 points with his Tour-leading 63rd victory of the year. Alcaraz would surpass the Serbian to take the lead if he made it to the championship match.
This week, Alcaraz aims to win his third ATP Masters 1000 title (Indian Wells, Madrid) and eighth tour-level championship of the year.
The 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov will be his opponent after his two hours and 25 minutes against Evans.
Alcaraz was impressive at the net against Evans in a game that included a lot of cat-and-mouse points, winning 67% (22/33) of them when moving forward.