Two matches into the tournament, we now have a better grasp of Carlos Alcaraz and his level on grass. While a Top 3 player on the year to date, there were doubts of his ability to go far given his inexperience and lack of matchplay on the surface. His draw continues with Oscar Otte, another player with a big serve and power style following Alcaraz’s last two opponents.
After toughing out a potential banana skin first round, Alcaraz found things much easier in the second. He broke Tallon Griekspoor six times in the straight sets win and added 9 aces in the 6-4 7-6 6-3 win. “[I] felt more comfortable today than [in] the first round,” Alcaraz said. “But obviously… I need more hours on court, on grass, to feel more comfortable.”
Meanwhile, Otte is someone who is developing a reputation as a tough opponent – especially on grass. Semi finals in Halle and Stuttgart were ended by Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini – two who would be amongst the favourites to go all the way had they competed this fortnight. Otte will be fresh coming into this one, having seen his second round match end after four games in addition to his dominant opener against Peter Gojowczyk.
This will be Alcaraz’s toughest test so far, with an opponent strong on grass and in fine form. Being taken five by Jan-Lennard Struff does indicate that against those more specialised, he may struggle in the early days on this surface. Otte will have to serve lights out though and his first round win did leave some concerns. He hit 10 double faults and served only 53% first serve, something that would give the Spaniard the opportunity to take control if that was repeated.
Prediction – Carlos Alcaraz in four sets
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About Aaron Higgs
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.