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.
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