Carlos Alcaraz moves on after mercurial display in Barcelona

ATP Tour
Carlos Alcaraz

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz started and finished his second round match against Soonwoo Kwon well to secure a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 victory in Barcelona.

Alcaraz made a stuttering start to his clay court season losing his opening match in Monte Carlo but shoed his quality back at home in Spain for the first time in over a year.

The Spaniard was breathtakingly good at his best but suffered a mid-match wobble that cost him the second set.

Alcaraz credited Kwon with fighting back in the second set, throwing him off.

“I started playing very well. The match was in my favour,” Alcaraz said of his lightning start which saw him lead, 6-1, 2-0. “It was tough to keep up in the score at the second set. I think he started to play really well, as well. And then I [started] very well at the third.

“It was a close match, I think, even if the score was a little bit easy,” he continued.

Alcaraz noted the difficulty of playing in the windy, cold and wet conditions.

He appeared to be lifted by the rapturous welcome he received when he strode out onto Pisa Rafa Nadal.

The Spaniard had a chance to move into the top ten in Barcelona thanks to a brilliant start to the season.

In other action in Barcelona Felix Auger-Aliassime also dropped a set on his way to notching his second clay-court win of 2022. He earned a hard-fought 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win over spirited qualifier Carlos Taberner.

“He [Taberner] is a good clay-court player,” said Auger-Aliassime in his on-court interview. “He had a good win yesterday, I’m sure he was feeling confident.

“On my part, I had a great start to the match. It was unfortunate that I lost my rhythm a little bit in the second set, lost my serve too many times, but I credit him also for defending well, showing a great level for a clay-court player, so it was not easy to get over [the line] today, serving for the match, but eventually to be through, it’s a thrill.”

Finn Emil Ruusuvuori secured a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over 16th seed Alexander Bublik.

Marton Fucsovics also notched an impressive win against experienced clay-courter in Federico Delbonis, downing the Argentine 6-2, 6-1.