Dominant Carlos Alcaraz through as Shang Juncheng retires injured

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webnexttech | Dominant Carlos Alcaraz through as Shang Juncheng retires injured
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Carlos Alcaraz reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time after opponent Shang Juncheng retired with injury in the third set.Remarkably, this was 20-year-old Alcaraz’s first experience of playing a younger player in his 201st tour level match, but it was barely a contest, the second seed dropping just two games before Shang called it a day trailing 6-1 6-1 1-0.
The 18-year-old Chinese wild card began the match with heavy strapping on his right thigh and took a medical timeout in the second set.
Alcaraz was forced to miss the tournament last year with a leg injury, and he said: “I was watching the matches at home from the couch, wishing to play in the second week here.
It feels special.” The young Spaniard will expect to go further than just the fourth round, where he will play Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.
The latter saved two match points for the second round in a row, defeating American Tommy Paul 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-6 (7) 6-0.
One of the biggest surprises of the week so far has been French wild card Arthur Cazaux, who brushed aside 28th seed Tallon Griekspoor 6-3 6-3 6-1 to make the last 16 on his debut.
Ranked 122, the 21-year-old is one of a crop of young players emerging, but far from the most heralded.
He said: “Of course there are so many players much better in the ranking than me, young players like Carlos, Holger (Rune), Jannik (Sinner), and Arthur Fils also.
Of course I know them, because we were in juniors together.
“Yes, they are superstars now, so it’s crazy for them.
Me, I did my trip.
I had many injuries, and then I did my best.
I do my trip, and we will see where it’s going to be.” He will next play ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz, who came from a set down to defeat another Frenchman, Ugo Humbert, 3-6 6-1 7-6 (4) 6-3.

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