Carlos Alcaraz made an emphatic start to his 2022 French Open blasting past qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 6-2, 6-0.
The Argentine clay specialist Londero, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round a few years ago, put up a strong fight in the first before Alcaraz pulled away late in his Chatrier debut.
“It was difficult at the beginning, but it’s always special to play in such a great stadium, a great court,” Alcaraz said. “I’m really happy with the performance in my first match in Philippe Chatrier, and hope to play more matches this court.”
Alcaraz has now won his last 11 matches. He’ll now face countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Alexander Zverev could be a quarterfinal foe for the teen. The 2021 semifinalist also was in form today rolling Austrian Sebastian Ofner 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
“I had a very stable clay court season,” said Zverev. “Semis in Monte Carlo, final in Madrid, semis in Rome. But I didn’t win any tournaments. I’m always somebody that likes to win, rather than be stable.
“I’d rather lose first round, first round, first round and then win a tournament, so hopefully I can do that here. Hopefully I can play my best tennis here.”
Grigor Dimitrov gained avenged a loss to Marcos Giron a year ago by crushing the American 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.
Felix Auger-Aliassime had to fight from two sets down to defeat Juan Pablo Varilles 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. It was the Canadian’s first 0-2 comeback and first win at the French Open.
“Once I got the first break, it was a relief, because I spent two sets without being able to break him,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Then to get that first break, go up 3-1 and then serve well and 4-1, and then I had more belief in me. But I don’t think also at any point I lost belief, because I know how I can play, I know what my level is, and I knew that if I hung in there and if I tried to find a way to change things around, I would get my opportunity.”
Dominic Thiem’s tough return continued going down to Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Thiem falls to 0-7 including Challengers during this comeback.
“I knew that it was going to take time, that the level is extremely high from all the players competing here and I’m not there yet,” Thiem said. “I was really working hard to get there but the time was just not enough.
“I have to accept it and even though it was really painful defeat now, week after week, it’s still nothing unexpected happened. If I would have won many matches or whatever, would have been a big surprise. So it’s painful, I’m very disappointed, but it goes on.”
Pablo Cuevas ousted Jenson Brooksby and Diego Schwartzman, John Isner and Karen Khachanov were also winners.
Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic open play. Nadal will face Australian Jordan Thompson. Will the foot hold up?
“The pain is there always, no?” Nadal said on Friday. “It’s not about gonna disappear now. It’s about if the pain is high and strong enough to allow me to play with real chances or not.
“Is something that I live every day with that, so is nothing new for me and is not a big surprise. So I am here just to play tennis and to try to make the best result possible here in Roland Garros, no? And if I don’t believe that this thing can happen, probably I will not be here.
“So I am just working as much as I can, and practicing as good as possible. My real goal is just put me in a position that I am healthy and playing enough good tennis to give myself good chances.”
Djokovic will be a big favorite in his title defense first round against Yoshihito Nishioka in the night session.
“I feel I am always in that contention to fight for any Grand Slam trophy,” said Djokovic. “I believe in my own abilities to get far and to fight for, you know, one of the most prestigious trophies in the world of tennis. As a defending champion of course more so, to believe I can do it again. Reliving the memories from last year is something that obviously gives me goose bumps and motivation to try to replicate that, if I can say that.”
MONDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Court Philippe CHATRIER – Début à 12h00
1 SD 1 Iga SWIATEK (POL) contre Lesia TSURENKO (UKR)
2 SD 1 Diane PARRY (FRA) contre Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE)
3 SM 1 Jordan THOMPSON (AUS) contre Rafael NADAL (ESP)
Pas avant 20h45
4 SM 1 Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) contre Yoshihito NISHIOKA (JPN)
Court Suzanne LENGLEN – Début à 11h00
1 SD 1 Amanda ANISIMOVA (USA) contre Naomi OSAKA (JPN)
2 SM 1 Stan WAWRINKA (SUI) contre Corentin MOUTET (FRA)
3 SD 1 Anett KONTAVEIT (EST) contre Ajla TOMLJANOVIC (AUS)
4 SM 1 Lloyd HARRIS (RSA) contre Richard GASQUET (FRA)
Court Simonne MATHIEU – Début à 11h00
1 SD 1 Oceane DODIN (FRA) contre Andrea PETKOVIC (GER)
2 SM 1 Cameron NORRIE (GBR) contre Manuel GUINARD (FRA)
3 SD 1 Linda NOSKOVA (CZE) contre Emma RADUCANU (GBR)
4 SM 1 Benoit PAIRE (FRA) contre Ilya IVASHKA (—)
You Might Like:
Carlos Alcaraz Says It’s Crazy He’s A Grand Slam Top Seed; Wants To Play With Nadal At Olympics
Djokovic, Nadal, Alcaraz All On Brutal Half Of French Open Draw
Alcaraz Makes Return To Clay This Week In Hamburg; Rublev, Rune In Draw
Alcaraz Makes Successful 2023 Debut, Wins Buenos Aires Over Norrie
Alcaraz, Zverev, Muguruza, Gauff Headline Day 1 At 2022 French Open