Australian Open: Alcaraz downs Kecmanovic, to face relentless Zverev in quarters

Melbourne, Jan 22 (IANS) Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev set the stage for an enthralling showdown, each earning their place in the Australian Open quarterfinals on Monday. The second-seeded Spaniard, Alcaraz, exhibited dominance as he dismantled 60th-ranked Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets, clinching a 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 victory in 50 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

The Spaniard, known for his powerful groundstrokes, has previously triumphed over Kecmanovic in a deciding-set tie-break in Miami in 2022. While their first Grand Slam meeting lacked the drama of their previous encounter.

Alcaraz’s relentless baseline striking and aggressive play left Kecmanovic with little room to mount a comeback, showcasing the form that has propelled him to the upper echelons of men’s tennis.

Earlier, sixth seed Alexander Zverev faced a formidable challenge in a five-set marathon against Cameron Norrie. The German managed to secure a hard-fought 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3) victory after an intense battle lasting four hours and 50 minutes. Zverev’s experience and determination propelled him to his third Australian Open quarterfinal in five years.

As the stage is set for their upcoming clash, Zverev carries a narrow 4-3 head-to-head record against Alcaraz.

With this commanding victory, Alcaraz, trailing closely behind Novak Djokovic by 200 points in the ATP Live Rankings, not only advanced to the quarterfinals but also intensified the race for the World No. 1 spot.

Alcaraz, who has dropped only one set in this Australian Open campaign, missed the 2023 edition due to injury, making his current run even more remarkable.



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