From ‘let’s go Rafa’ to ‘let’s go Charly’: Madrid carries Alcaraz in the wings | Sports

Masters 1000 Madrid – final –

On Mother’s Day, a hot May afternoon on the banks of the Manzanares River, the clouds occasionally give a little respite to the audience at the Caja Mágica, who use hats and fans to combat the sun. Many rush until the last minute to take their seats, with the bars inside the venue packed and the enticing smell of waffles in the air. Among the furthest behind is Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the president of the Community of Madrid, who arrives at her seat with the game already started. The Caja Mágica, packed with nearly 12,500 people, welcomes Carlos Alcaraz in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open with Eye of the Tigerthe soundtrack of Rocky.

As always, authorities and celebrities of all stripes crowd together without leaving a single gap in the boxes. Feliciano López, director of the Madrid Masters, receives the match balls from a parachutist and the real game begins Show, in which Alcaraz, not exempt from suffering, surpasses Struff to win his second consecutive ATP in Madrid.

The Murcian knows that he has the public in his pocket: his complicity with Madrid is maximum and he continually uses it to his advantage, especially when they are badly given, as at some moments in the final against a tough Struff. It is not an easy game and in many moments the Murcian looks at his team as if asking for solutions. In the stands they see it more clearly. “Now throw a shell at him that doesn’t catch it”, they implore him after several winning remnants from the German. After losing the second set, the Murcian dared to spur the public, who stood up as if it were a Davis Cup. And with him break who opens the victory in the third sleeve, his name is directly chanted. “Great, Struff”, responds resignedly a proud minority German fan.

Already with the ATP of Madrid in his pocket, Carlos Alcaraz highlighted the difficulty of the match, where he could only enjoy “at times” against Struff. “I have suffered, but in tennis you have to live these situations. The nerves come into play and sometimes the legs are heavier than normal. Jan is a very aggressive player and was prepared to receive bombs. He has to adapt to the rival and row. But I think that I have done well in the key moments and I have been myself”, declared the Murcian, who before receiving the trophy from the mayor Martínez Almeida, was encouraged by David Bisbal’s fashionable phrase: “I First of all, how are the machines?

Jokes aside, Alcaraz wanted to remember a team that “is a family” for him and has pointed out that there are shots that he does not make in training, but that on the Manolo Santana court have come from his heart: “I have always said that I try to do magic.

The Murcian has also appreciated the support received. “The crowd has been incredible and has once again made this the most special tournament for me. I had difficulties in the first game and in the final and I have to admit that without the fans on my side it would not have been possible to win the tournament. They have helped me a lot ”, he declared.

Struff also received recognition from the fans after congratulating Alcaraz: “Spectacular victory, Carlitos. All the best for the future. After being a lucky loser I am grateful for this second chance and it has been a spectacular two weeks for me with incredible support.” The German has apologized for not pronouncing any word in Spanish.

Madrid had not seen such a dedicated stand since Rafa Nadal, who won the Mutua five times (four times in the Caja Mágica) and put the tournament on the world tennis map. With the Spaniard injured, now it is Alcaraz who picks up the baton from him as a local idol. From the iconic “let’s go Rafa” to “let’s go Charly” before the serves. Although he prefers to be called Carlitos. The alcarazmanía It already caused a furor in Barcelona and continues to sweep Spain, a talismanic territory where the world number 2 accumulates 21 duels without losing. Now, Rome and Paris await, a challenge will be even bigger for the new illusion of Spanish tennis.

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