Among those left spellbound by Carlos Alcaraz's incredible running forehand winner during his 2023 Rio Open semi-final was Spanish tennis great Alex Corretja. The former World No. 2 expressed that he re-watched the current World No. 2's stunning shot over and over again.
Playing against Nicolas Jarry, Alcaraz produced the moment in a return game in the deciding set as Jarry stretched him from side to side during the rally. It seemed almost impossible for the Spaniard to put the ball back on Jarry's side of the court as he chased the ball on his forehand side.
However, Alcaraz showed his athleticism and skill yet again, not only returning the ball, but smashing it for a winner past his helpless opponent. The fact that he was able to produce such a winner on break point added to its importance in the match and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
You can watch the rally here:
Reacting to the same, Alex Corretja suggested that he was so impressed by Carlos Alcaraz's forehand winner that he saw it multiple times on loop.
"I think I've seen it about 50 times in a row," Corretja wrote on Twitter.
The brilliant rally gave Alcaraz an early break of serve in the deciding set. It seemed to dampen Jarry's spirits, with the World No. 2 eventually securing a 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-0 victory.
Alcaraz will face Cameron Norrie in the final for the second week in a row, after beating the Brit in the Argentina Open final last weekend.
"People want to see joy, incredible shots; I just want to be who I am and transmit joy on the court" - Carlos Alcaraz
With every impressive tournament campaign from Carlos Alcaraz at the highest level, there is a rising pressure of expectations on the Spanish teenager. Many believe he could be one to take over the mantle from the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.
However, Alcaraz has stated that he is not concerned about being a successor to the Big 3 era. The Spaniard just wants to play his best tennis and give fans and spectators great joy while watching his matches.
"I think people want to see joy, incredible shots," Carlos Alcaraz said after his semi-final win over Jarry.
"I don't think about being the player people want to see after the Big 3, I just want to be who I am and transmit joy on the court."
The 2023 Rio Open final will already be the 10th tour-level final of the 19-year-old's career. He has won seven of his last nine finals, including victories at the US Open, the Miami Open, and the Madrid Open, all in 2022. He will also be aiming to defend his Rio Open title when he takes on Cameron Norrie.