Miami, A superb Dimitrov sends Alcaraz home

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The Bulgarian player delivers an insane performance and eliminates the Spaniard 6-2 6-4. And Jannik can believe in the comeback. And now Sinner can truly believe it. His main rival, Carlos Alcaraz, unexpectedly falls in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Miami ATP against Grigor Dimitrov, and our Jannik, waiting to play the tournament semifinal against Daniil Medvedev, has a tremendous opportunity ahead.

Not only has the Italian avoided the chance of facing the most dangerous opponent in the final, yesterday's strangely imprecise and inconsistent Spaniard, but Carlos' downfall gives him the chance to attempt to overtake the number 2 spot currently held by his friend-foe: if he were to win this tournament, Sinner, now ranked 3rd in the world, would achieve the mathematical overtaking failed at Indian Wells. He still has to carry out the task here in Florida until the end – and he still faces a formidable opponent like the Russian – but he must thank Grigor's pure talent nonetheless, in one of his best performances in recent years. For large stretches, the Bulgarian literally outplayed the rival 12 years his junior, while among the audience watched none other than Mike Tyson.

Conversely, on Carlos' side, there was a physical and nervous decline: he only returned to the match in the second half of the second set, perhaps when it was too late.THE MATCH— In a first set where the 12th-ranked Bulgarian plays at the level of a top player from the start, risking every time he has the chance and never backing down in front of the Spaniard's power, the decisive moment comes with the initial break secured in the second game. Carlos contributes to his own struggles, struggling to find his rhythm and showing a bit too much haste in execution, but perhaps he is simply surprised by Grigor's aggression, who truly showcases his tennis purity, with delightful stop volleys and one-handed backhands of rare beauty.

Ahead 5-2, Dimitrov then breaks Carlos' serve again and wins the set decisively, surprisingly but definitely deservedly. In the second set, Alcaraz begins to speak with agitation to his coach: "I can't play like this sh*t," he tells coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, the man who always puts him back on track in moments of difficulty. The last time, for example, was in the comeback in the Indian Wells semifinal against Sinner. But the pressure on the Murcian's shoulders begins to mount, and the desire to shorten the rallies sometimes leads him to overdo it and give away too much, as in the fourth game: a double fault and a missed short ball from the Spaniard and then an otherworldly forehand return from the Bulgarian lead to the new break.

At 4-1, Grigor would also have the opportunity to extend the lead, but one step away from heaven, he squanders a break point on the Spaniard's serve, and at that point, everything seems to change. In the next game, Alcaraz becomes phenomenal again and rebels against defeat, hitting winners that previously were nowhere to be found: a served break and the match is back on a knife's edge until 4-4. Having regained the advantage, Dimitrov faces two match points on Carlos' serve: at the first opportunity, the Bulgarian hits the mark, sealing the tournament upset.