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Alcaraz off with a bang

Updated on: 27 May,2024 06:55 AM IST  |  Paris

World No. 3 Spaniard Carlos starts Grand Slam campaign with dominant 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 win over lowly-ranked JJ Wolf; Osaka beats Bronzetti to set up Rd 2 battle v No. 1 Swiatek

Alcaraz off with a bang

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz serves to USA’s JJ Wolf on Day One of the French Open at Rolland Garros, Paris, yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

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Alcaraz off with a bang

Carlos Alcaraz maintained his record of never losing in the first round of a Grand Slam by taming J.J. Wolf at the French Open on Sunday, shrugging off his injury-hit build-up by insisting: “I don’t need too many matches to be at my best”. 

The World No. 3 and reigning Wimbledon champion eased through 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 against Wolf, the 107th-ranked player who entered the main draw as a ‘lucky loser’ from qualifying. 

Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns to Lucia Bronzetti at the French Open in Paris yesterday. Pic/AFPJapan’s Naomi Osaka returns to Lucia Bronzetti at the French Open in Paris yesterday. Pic/AFP

13-0 first-round record

Alcaraz, 21, who made the semi-finals in 2023 where he was defeated by Novak Djokovic, took his first round record at the majors to 13-0. The Spaniard next faces either Britain’s Jack Draper or Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong. 

Alcaraz showed no sign of suffering from the right arm injury which sidelined him from the Rome Open as he coasted to victory on the back of 27 winners and nine breaks of serve. “I don’t need too many matches to be at my best,” said Alcaraz. “I only played four times in Madrid. Of course, I’d have loved to have played more but I don’t need many to be at 100%. 

‘Practised a lot in Paris’ 

“I have practised with a lot of top players in Paris this week and the forearm is feeling better and better,” he added. 

Wolf arrived in Paris with just one win on tour all year but he surprised Alcaraz by breaking in the first game. However, that was as good as it got for the 25-year-old as Alcaraz swept the next eight games, setting the tone for the match.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka swept to her first victory at the French Open in three years, setting up a potential showdown with World No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Osaka, a four-time major winner who has yet to get past the third round in Paris, needed three sets to defeat Italy’s 48th-ranked Lucia Bronzetti on the showpiece Court Philippe Chatrier, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

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