World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz survived a relatively stiff challenge from Japan’s Taro Daniel to advance to the third round of the French Open.
Alcaraz dropped the second set Daniel, who is ranked No 97 in the world, but powered pack to a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win.
“Daniel just played at a great level and I’m really happy with my level. Taro played great, he’s a really tough player and continues to win matches against great players. The conditions with the wind were really, really tough,” said Alcaraz.
“We’re here on Philippe-Chatrier Court, you simply have to adjust your game as best you can. I was really focused in every shot. I played a great level even in the wind.”
“It’s amazing to play here. I’ve always wanted to play well in Paris, at Roland Garros. I feel the support from the very first day. I feel all the energy, it’s tough to describe the crowd.”
Alcaraz, who won last year’s US Open, will play Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the third round of this year’s French Open. Earlier this week, he beat Italian Flavio Cobilli in the first round.
“I felt I couldn’t lose a game at the start of the match. I felt invincible,” Alcaraz said at the time.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, 2021 losing French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets to reach the third round, too.
While world No 2 Daniil Medvedev isn’t necessarily a fan of the clay court season, as he suggested after Tuesday’s upset defeat to Thiago Seyboth Wild, Tsitsipas finds value in the challenging surface.
“It’s a great feeling when you step out on a newly made clay court that is clean. All the lines are perfect. It makes for a very pleasing visual experience,” said Tsitsipas.
“But there’s also beauty on when the courts are dirty and messed up and you can see all of the footwork and effort that has been put in and you have a visual of that, of how much work has been put in in order for you to succeed in what you do. It’s a spiritual type of surface.
“I always call it the show, sometimes it can be easy to forget this is meant to be fun, less of work and more a game. We’re not in an office, we’re outside playing tennis and travelling all round the world.”
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