Alcaraz passes stern De Jong test to advance at French Open

By Sports Desk May 29, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz survived a stern examination of his French Open credentials as he overcame qualifier Jesper de Jong in four sets to reach the third round on Wednesday.

The Wimbledon champion looked set for another routine victory when he raced into a two-set lead, but the 23-year-old Dutchman refused to go quietly in a gruelling three-hour, 11-minute contest decided by a 6-3 6-4 2-6 6-2 scoreline.

De Jong, ranked 176th in the world, was given a standing ovation after a brave performance which had Alcaraz on the ropes, finding joy with a series of inventive drop shots.

The momentum seemed to be with him when he claimed an early break in the fourth set, but Alcaraz broke straight back, rediscovering his composure following an angry outburst at his box.

Alcaraz then made it successive breaks as De Jong began to tire, with a series of unforced errors proving costly as the Spaniard took the contest away from him.

Data Debrief: Alcaraz passes important test

Should Alcaraz go on to win his third grand slam title at Roland Garros, he may well look back on Wednesday's match as an important milestone as he was pushed to his limits after an injury-affected few weeks.

He has now won 13 of his first 16 singles matches at the French Open, and either Sebastian Korda or Kwon Soon-woo will await him in the third round.

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