Carlos Alcaraz passes Taro Daniel's test, advances at French Open

ByABC News
May 31, 2023, 1:39 PM

Carlos Alcaraz came through a tricky early test at the French Open with flying colors, as the world No. 1 sealed a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Japan's Taro Daniel on Wednesday to reach the third round.

Alcaraz enjoyed a dominant opening win over Flavio Cobolli in his first match as the top seed in a Grand Slam, and the 20-year-old from Spain used another blistering start against Daniel to ease through the first set on the back of two breaks.

Daniel pounced early in the second set to grab a 3-0 lead before Alcaraz got on the board. He continued to batter the suddenly error-prone Alcaraz with some relentless hitting from the baseline before leveling the contest.

But Daniel, who is ranked No. 112, was quickly on the back foot again as Alcaraz regained focus to break early and close out the third set in style, conceding only one late game. Alcaraz then closed out the match to book an encounter with Canadian 26-seed Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Matteo Arnaldi 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

"I'm a player who plays really well in the wind. I have practiced in Vienna, which has a lot of wind a lot of days, and I'm used to playing in the wind," Alcaraz said. "It's really tough to adapt your game to that. I tried to play as best as I can. Today, I played a good level."

2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The fifth-seeded Greek player was a bit slow to find his range and was made to work hard for two sets but rolled after he won the tiebreaker.

American Sebastian Korda, seeded 24th, was swept 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-4 by Sebastian Ofner, Thanasi Kokkinakis won a five-setter over 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, and Cameron Norrie held off a late comeback from Lucas Pouille to win 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.