Pascal Ratthe/Tennis Canada
HUGE upset on Centre Court at IGA Stadium! On Wednesday afternoon, 25-year-old right-hander Tommy Paul sent the second seed Carlos Alcaraz packing in the second round of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
The three-hour match (3:20) was absolutely incredible and ended 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7), 6-3 for the underdog.
The first two sets were vastly different but equally mind-blowing. Between the charismatic 19-year-old’s genius shots and the American’s targeted serves, it took a tiebreaker to set them apart. After battling for an hour, with 46 points apiece, the winner of the Masters 1000 in Madrid, who toppled Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, was rewarded for all his efforts with spectacular winners that defied the imagination.
The second set started off with a bang for Alcaraz, who broke Paul’s serve and built up a 4-1 lead.
But Tommy Paul hadn’t said his last word. He secured two breaks and five straight games to take the lead. Alcaraz fought back, all the way to a second tiebreaker. A couple of mini-breaks carried him to 7-6, but Paul wasn’t done.
In the third, he broke Alcaraz and ran the score up to 4-1. At 5-2, he squandered four match points but sealed the deal on his fifth at 5-3 after fighting off a break point. In the end, it was 135 points for Paul and 125 for Alcaraz.
“I’m really happy with the result,” Tommy Paul said after the match. “It’s always nice to win in front of a great crowd and get the big points. At 1-4 in the second set, I told myself I had nothing to lose and I had to hang in there. After a crazy tiebreaker, I was feeling really confident.”
Casper Ruud (4) of Norway impressed the crowd on Rogers Court with his two-set win (7-6 (3), 6-3) over Alex Molcan of Slovakia. He closed things out in just under two hours (1:57) in a flurry of 13 aces.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut (14) defeated American hopeful Jenson Brooksby 7-5, 6-1 in 96 minutes.
Finally, Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain steamrolled Holger Rune of Denmark 6-0, 6-3 in just 55 minutes.