The last few months have been rougher on world No. 4 Carlos Alcaraz, who has suffered a few disappointing losses after injuring his elbow. The scorching start to the 2022 season seems like it was quite some time ago, but the talent and ability are still there, and it’s only a matter of time before he turns it back on. Perhaps he’ll end up raising the trophy at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this week, as he is already off to a solid start and now faces a very beatable opponent in world No. 17 Marin Cilic for a quarterfinal berth.
After losing to world No. 12 Jannik Sinner in the Umag final, Alcaraz then lost from match point up to 31st-ranked Tommy Paul in his Montreal opener. He did, however, bounce back in a big way by earning a 6-3, 6-2 win over world No. 72 Mackenzie McDonald to begin proceedings in Cincinnati. That was the first time Alcaraz looked like his true self in a couple of weeks, and he’ll now look to repeat that performance—which only took him an hour and six minutes—against Cilic.