On Friday evening, Martin Landaluce was preparing for the biggest match of his life, the US Open Boys’ Singles final. But another match on television kept the Spaniard from going to sleep: Carlos Alcaraz’s enthralling five-set quarter-final against Frances Tiafoe.
“I tried to sleep, but he was [on] the TV, so I couldn’t sleep in that moment. I just slept in the fifth,” Landaluce said of Alcaraz with a smile on his face. “But I was watching it. It was a great match. Yeah, both were playing good. I took some things from Alcaraz and from Tiafoe also.”
Like his countryman Alcaraz did Friday, Landaluce earned a big win on Saturday. The 16-year-old, seeded fifth, defeated second seed Gilles Arnaud Bailly of Belgium 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-2 for the Boys’ Singles title.
“It was a great match. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I tried to enjoy the final. It’s a special moment, special tournament,” Landaluce said. “I tried one game plan at the beginning that went more or less good. But then in the third set I tried to change it, to be more solid, more consistent. I think that’s what gave me the match, the win.”
There was a tough moment for the teen late in the second set. Bailly, 17, won a lengthy point in which he goaded Landaluce into an error to force a deciding set. Instead of suffering a letdown, Landaluce immediately bounced back to break at the start of the third set and never looked back.
“It was the final of the US Open. How could I be down or something?” Landaluce said. “I was just trying to enjoy the moment, try to understand the situation, to change some little things to win the match.”
Did You Know?
Landaluce practised with Alcaraz during his run to the Mutua Madrid Open title earlier this year.