WATCH: Carlos Alcaraz defeats Facundo Bagnis in the 2023 Miami Open second round.

MIAMI, Fla.—By the time Carlos Alcaraz felt the first bit of tension at the Miami Open, he was already nine games into his one-sided demolition of Facundo Bagnis in the second round.

Without Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the draw, the 19-year-old from Spain has been the heavy favorite to take home the title again, and complete a rare “Sunshine Double”—winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back—a feat only seven men and four women have previously accomplished.

On Friday afternoon in Miami, Alcaraz made the perfect case for himself with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Bagnis. And along the way, he settled any doubts about the quick turnaround from Indian Wells to Miami (seamless), his physical condition (no sign of lingering fatigue), and his on-court performance (rock solid).

“It’s different to be back here as a defending champion. Here I'm going to say the same: I [am] going to win another Grand Slam,” Alcaraz told press with a grin afterward, echoing his correct prediction from 2022. “Obviously, it’s great to play here. It’s no different to play a first round here than last year.

“I would say the only difference is I played in the center court and last year I did not. It's that difference only.”


The Spaniard received a raucous ovation as he walked out onto center court at the Hard Rock Stadium, where a year ago his maiden ATP Masters 1000 victory propelled him into the international spotlight—and signaled even more greatness to come.

After reclaiming the ATP world No. 1 ranking at the BNP Paribas Open—where five days ago he won a third Masters 1000 without dropping a set—he has cut a relaxed figure in South Florida ahead of his biggest title defense to date.

“I grew up a lot since last year. It has been a great year for me as a player, as a person as well,” said Alcaraz, who was recently pictured at a Miami Heat game rubbing elbows with Dwane Wade and Jimmy Butler.

“I learned a lot of things, not only on court, even off the court, as well…”


Alcaraz improved to 4-0 against Bagnis with his victory in the second round of the Miami Open.

Alcaraz improved to 4-0 against Bagnis with his victory in the second round of the Miami Open.

The only interruption to Alcaraz’s serene progress came at 6-0, 2-1, after Bagnis held serve for the first time in the match. The Argentine took advantage of a wobbly service game from Alcaraz for a break to love, jolting the crowd back to life at the thought of getting a bit more action out of Friday's last Day Session match.

But Bagnis was facing an uphill climb that was even more steep than what the scoreboard showed: He was 0-16 against players ranked inside the ATP’s Top 30, and trailed Alcaraz 0-3 in their head-to-head matches. Unbothered, the world No. 1 quickly slammed the door shut on any hope of a comeback. Alcaraz broke back straightaway to love, and reeled off the next three games to close out the victory in 64 minutes.

“As a new event, I try not to think about [being] the defending champion. I'm trying not to think about [what] I won last year,” he said. “It's day by day, round by round. I try to play my best in every day, try to enjoy in every match, as well.

“That's the only goal and only thoughts on my mind in every match.”

With the victory, No. 1 seed Alcaraz moved into the third round in Miami, where he will face No. 76 Dusan Lajovic.