Carlos Alcaraz secures French Open top seeding
Carlos Alcaraz felt that the 6-4, 6-1 scoreline of his victory over compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas didn’t tell the full story of a tough first assignment in Rome.
Alcaraz only needed to take part in the match to ensure that he would return to the world No 1, but he secured a victory that continues impressive form on clay.
He has also won his last nine matches against compatriots, a streak that includes a win over Rafael Nadal.
Alcaraz has a perfect record against players inside the top 50 this season and has improved to 30-2 for the term.
He has made no bones of wanting to complete a Madrid, Rome, and Paris hat-trick.
Alcaraz was made to wait for his debut in Rome with rain disrupting proceedings on Saturday.
“It wasn’t easy. The first round of every tournament is really tough and of course Albert Ramos, especially on clay, is a really tough opponent,” Alcaraz said.
“I had to adapt my game really quickly to be able to get though. The conditions weren’t easy as well, the rain, the waiting all day. I didn’t know if I was going to play or not. But I’m really happy with my performance at the end and really happy to be able to play in the next round.”
The 20-year-old’s unrelenting depth and power wore out his Spanish comrade and a run of five straight game wins from 4-4 in the first set drastically shifted the contest in Alcaraz’s favour.
Alcaraz did not face another break point after losing his serve in the first game of the match and he easily handled the challenging center-court conditions, finishing with 28 winners through the opening contest.
In a third-set tie-break match against Ramos-Vinolas in Rio de Janeiro three years ago, Alcaraz triumphed for the first time on the ATP Tour. The two nationals also faced off at Umag last year and in the second round of Roland Garros, with Alcaraz winning in five sets.
Alcaraz’s triumph over the 35-year-old in Rome appeared relatively one-sided, and it is only the most recent illustration of the development of the soon-to-be rankings king into one of the most feared players on any surface in the game.
Ramos-Vinolas was prevented from earning his third Top 5 triumph, which would have been his first since defeating Andy Murray, the then-World No. 1, in the 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
READ MORE: Holger Rune anticipates a fired-up Foro Italico crowd for Fabio Fognini clash
One of Novak Djokovic’s most iconic rackets is up for sale – but will it break Roger Federer’s record?
Novak Djokovic’s 2016 French Open racket is up for grabs, but will it reach the same selling fee as Roger Federer’s collection?
Novak Djokovic makes French Open admission about potential last Rafael Nadal showdown
Novak Djokovic has discussed the prospect of playing his last match against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal looks set to play Australian Open as travel plans revealed in big comeback update
Rafael Nadal’s travel plans ahead of the 2024 season have been finalised, according to a report.
‘Jannik Sinner is a millimetre from Novak Djokovic – Nole fears him’, claims Slam winner
A French Open winner thinks Jannik Sinner has almost reached Novak Djokovic’s level.
Why the return of Sky Sports will provide a massive profile boost for tennis in the UK
Kevin Palmer explains why the return of tennis to Sky Sports will be good for the sport in the UK and Ireland.
Boris Becker highlights four young ATP stars ‘you will hear a lot from in the coming year’
Boris Becker has named the four leading young ATP players.
ITIA confirms Novak Djokovic did not refuse doping test at Davis Cup Finals
The ITIA has explained why Novak Djokovic did not break anti-doping protocol at the Davis Cup Finals.
WATCH: ‘Terrible singer’ Leylah Fernandez’s hilarious karaoke version of Journey classic
Have fun listening to Leylah Fernandez ‘signing’ Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.
The 13 WTA players whose last title was remarkably a Grand Slam: Coco Gauff, Emma Raducanu and more…
There are four active players whose last title was a Grand Slam.
Jannik Sinner underlines Darren Cahill’s key contribution to his sensational growth
Jannik Sinner praises Darren Cahill for giving him confidence.