Carlos Alcaraz defeated Norbert Gombos to earn his 40th win of 2022.

Last update: July 29, 2022, 13:51 IST

Carlos Alcaraz takes 40th win of 2022 (Twitter Image @ Alexander Scheuber)

Umag title: Carlos Alcaraz beat Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-2, 6-3 to earn his 40th win of 2022 on Thursday.

Carlos Alcaraz picked up his 40th win of the year on Thursday when he opened his Umag title defense in style with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Norbert Gombos of Slovakia.

The Spaniard won his first title at the Croatian clay court tournament in 2021 and returns this year as the youngest man to break into the top five in the world since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

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“It was a really tough match. It wasn’t as easy as the result looks,” said Alcaraz, who had seven break points against the lucky loser.

“Norbert played very well and the first round of every tournament is never easy, so I had to get used to the conditions. It was difficult for me, but in the end I found a way to play better and get the win.

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Since defeating Richard Gasquet in last year’s Umag final, 19-year-old Alcaraz has added four more titles to his collection, including Masters crowns in Miami and Madrid.

Thursday’s win follows a shock weekend loss to Lorenzo Musetti in the Hamburg final.

Alcaraz, who is now 25-3 on clay this season, will face Argentina’s Facundo Bagnes on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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