This will be the first time that these two Spaniards will face each other.
This is the first edition of this ATP 250 in Marbella. Until now, it was a Challenger tournament.
In this edition
In the 1st round, Feliciano Lopez won in 2 sets against Taro Daniel.
For his part, Carlos Alcaraz defeated Nikola Milojevic in 2 sets including a tie-break.
There is a 22-year gap between these two men. Carlos Alcaraz, 17, could be the son of Feliciano Lopez, 39. A nice match in perspective.
I expect Feliciano Lopez to have a much tougher match than against Taro Daniel. It must be said that the latter has made a lot of weaknesses, mainly related to bad choices.
Carlos Alcaraz is very young but already full of talent. There are many people who compare him to Rafael. But, please, let’s not skip any steps. It’s obviously too early to predict the same career for him.
For this new match, Feliciano Lopez should, as usual, remain solid on his service games. He was quite convincing in his first match, winning 74% of the points on his serves. However, I expect the veteran to have a bit more of an answer on the restart. Carlos Alcaraz regularly manages to return his opponents’ serves very hard and surprise them.
Nevertheless, I think that this match will be played in rallies where Carlos Alcaraz will have all his chances. It has to be said that this guy is a good striker (when given too many neutral balls). He sometimes tends to rush, which causes him to generate some pretty annoying faults, but he’s still good at it.
In addition, Carlos Alcaraz is a good defender. He runs fast and forces his opponents to put in a little more to gain points. Feliciano Lopez will have to play with his head if he doesn’t want to get into endless rallies. To do that, he’ll be able to use his skills at the net, as well as a fairly direct forehand to try and take out the youngster with one swing of the racquet. On paper, it’s still complicated.
I fear a random tie-break in this match, or a power grab by the more experienced player. However, Carlos Alcaraz seems to me to be in a better position to win this match on this slow surface. Feliciano Lopez could be oppressed by all those balls coming back quickly. Thus, his 39 years old could do the rest.
Prediction: Carlos Alcaraz wins