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Monte Carlo Masters: Korda upsets Alcaraz in young-gun battle

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Monaco, April 13 (IANS) Sebastian Korda earned the biggest win of his season at the Monte Carlo Masters, edging Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 6-3 to reach the third round here on Wednesday.

World No. 11 Alcaraz arrived in Monte Carlo in red-hot form, having captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami. However, the 18-year-old, who was making his debut at the clay-court event, was unable to cope with American Korda’s heavy-hitting, variety and the windy conditions.

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The American rallied from a break down in the third set with the wind leading to errors and few long rallies as the match went on. With his three-hour, one-minute victory, Korda gained revenge for his defeat to Alcaraz at the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, where the Spaniard triumphed in the championship match.

“It was nice to get the victory today,” Korda said in his on-court interview.

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“I stayed calm and believed in my returning. It was super tough, every time he threw up the ball it moved around. It was a crazy match.”

Albert Ramos-Vinolas continued his clay-court dominance over World No. 10 Cameron Norrie as he emerged a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 winner from an engrossing battle of the lefties on Court des Princes.

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The Spaniard had won all three of his previous meetings with Norrie on the red dirt and withstood a fierce comeback from the Brit to make it four from four and clinch his eighth Top 10 win in two hours, 31 minutes.

The Spaniard reached his sole Masters 1000 championship match at the event in 2017 and he will pose a big threat to his third-round opponent, who will be either Spaniard Pedro Martinez or World No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz.

Another seeded player to fall on Wednesday was Lorenzo Sonego, who was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Serb Laslo Djere.

Sonego had dropped just two games on his way to victory in the pair’s previous meeting in Rio de Janeiro in February but could not produce a repeat performance in Monaco.

Djere’s first-round win over Karen Khachanov was his first in three appearances in Monte Carlo and the World No. 62 will now face defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.

–IANS

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