Carlos Alcaraz freezes in front of camera after another dominant win

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World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz is rarely short of inspiration on-court, but the Spaniard drew a blank following his latest win at the Miami Open. His Florida title defence continued with a 6-0, 7-6(5) thrashing of Dusan Lajovic, the second time in as many matches he’s managed to score a bagel victory.

As has become commonplace when watching Alcaraz in action, the 19-year-old displayed a wide array of weapons in his arsenal and the kind of creativity to make others envious. The tournament favourite is blazing a trail in tennis thanks to his lightning-quick reactions and an endless bag of tricks, producing wonders on near enough a match-by-match basis.

One would think something as easy as a post-match autograph would be routine for one so accustomed to thriving in high-pressure situations. And yet Alcaraz appeared stumped as he stood in front of the un-inked camera lens.

After pausing to laugh at his own incredulousness, the 2022 US Open champion decided on drawing his trademark ‘C’ along with a straightforward: “Let’s go!!” He’ll face home favourite Tommy Paul in the fourth round of the competition, hoping to beat a contender who’s playing just a short drive from his usual residence in nearby Boca Raton.

“A chance to sign the lens again,” said the Tennis TV commentator. “He does it so often, he’s ran out of ideas!” And one can hardly blame the youngster given the frequency at which he’s racking up wins already in 2023.

Having yet to drop a set in Miami, there’s every indication Alcaraz will once again be a part of the title picture as the finals bracket begins to take shape at the Hard Rock Stadium. The American portion of the tennis calendar has proved favourable for the teenage ace early on in his career, having recently added a maiden Indian Wells crown to his collection across the pond.

Paul promises to provide a step up in opposition, however, and will be eager to surprise at the same event that produced his first ATP-level win all the way back in 2016. The 25-year-old can afford to feel upbeat about his chances, too, considering he came from behind to best Alcaraz in their only meeting to date at last year’s Canadian Open.

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The European upstart will be desperate to avenge that defeat, which came to fruition one month before he clinched his maiden major title at Flushing Meadows. Both players have produced some superb displays in the first quarter of 2023, and world No. 19 Paul will hope a shock in Miami could propel him to a new career-best ranking (17th or higher).

Alcaraz is sure to have a few new ideas as he seeks to level the score against Paul and return to the last eight in Miami. Running out of ideas for the camera lens signature will be the least of his concerns, after all, if he’s unable to earn the privilege in the first place.

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