French Open: Alcaraz shines on Philippe Chatrier debut

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz relished making his debut on Court Philippe Chatrier as the rising star made an impressive start to his French Open campaign.

Madrid Open champion Alcaraz won his first-round clash against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4 6-2 6-0 as the tournament in Paris got under way on Sunday.

The 19-year-old – who has been tipped as one of the favourites to win the second major of the year – dispatched Londero in under two hours and enjoyed his time in the spotlight.

Asked about his first experience on Philippe Chatrier, Alcaraz said: "It was difficult at the beginning, but it's always special to play in such a great stadium, a great court. 

"I'm really happy with the performance in my first match in Philippe Chatrier, and hope to play more matches in this court.

"I am trying to be focused just on the tournaments, on the matches, and trying [not] to be a part of the social media and everyone talking about you.

"Just focus on what I have to improve, what I have to do on the matches, what I have to do every day to be ready in the tournament."

Elsewhere, third seed Alexander Zverev opened his campaign with a comprehensive 6-2 6-4 6-4 win over Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner.

A semi-finalist at Roland-Garros last year, Zverev – who did not even allow Ofner a single break-point opportunity – was asked what he had learned about himself in the 12 months since.

"Well, you grow, you grow up in a way," said the German. 

"Each year you understand more and more what it takes to be pro tennis players, that there are difficulties on the court, that there are difficulties in any job that you do. 

"Generally speaking, I get older, I'm 25 years old now. I'm not the young guy that Alcaraz is or some of the other guys are any more. 

"I think as any other person as well, just taking tennis away, you just get more life experience."

Zverev is yet to learn his second-round opponent, but Alcaraz will face fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas next.

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    A rain delay came when Nadal was 3-0 clear in the fourth set, and that was only an inconvenience, Nadal wasting little time in finishing the job.

    With Matteo Berrettini and Roberto Bautista Agut both pulling out of Nadal's half of the draw due to COVID-19, and Denis Shapovalov losing on Thursday to Brandon Nakashima after reaching the semi-finals last year, it is hard to see who might deny the Spanish two-time champion a place in the final, unless Nick Kyrgios or Stefanos Tsitsipas fancy the task. Italian Lorenzo Sonego will be the next to try.

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    He moves up to fourth place on the all-time list for singles wins in the majors, behind only Roger Federer, who leads the way, Serena Williams and Djokovic.

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    Berankis – 3/3

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