‘Faultless’ Carlos Alcaraz ‘thriving in party atmosphere’ at Roland Garros
Carlos Alcaraz “barely put a foot wrong” during his victory over Flavio Cobolli at the French Open with Tim Henman feeling the Spaniard is revelling in the “party atmosphere” during his matches even more than the fans.
Competing as the top seed of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, Alcaraz was in imperious form as he secured a commanding 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 victory on Suzanne-Lenglen.
Alcararz himself said after the match “I felt the energy from the crowd, I felt the love and it was great to feel that” and former British No 1 and Eurosport pundit Henman was impressed with the 20-year-old’s performance during the opener in Paris.
“I think [he was] brilliant. He came out and wanted to set the tone early,” he said Eurosport’s The Cube. “He’s a massive favourite and in the first round, we talk about sometimes how it’s a little bit tricky, but he was faultless.
“For two sets and then up in the third set, he barely put a foot wrong.”
Henman added: “[He] is just so exciting… it’s like a party atmosphere out there and it seems Alcaraz is the one enjoying that party the most. It’s incredible to watch.”
Alcaraz’s press conference after his first round win ▶️
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 29, 2023
The world No 1, who reached the quarter-final at Roland Garros last year, has been in brilliant form on clay so far this campaign as he is no 21-2 on clay this year with his only defeats coming in the final of the Rio Open and a shock third-round loss at the Italian Open.
Although he “lost focus” during the third set, Henman was delighted with the way the reigning US Open champion played.
“Perhaps a little bit of lost concentration, perhaps he thought the match was over,” he said.
“He had 0-40 at 5-3 and might have thought this is done and dusted. It just goes to show, he lost seven points in a row and suddenly from being at match point he was back on serve at 5-5.
“But credit to his opponent, he really thrived in that atmosphere. Even when he lost the first eight games he was celebrating when he won that first game. I think he showed a great attitude and made it a little bit trickier in the third set.
“But Alcaraz looked so comfortable out there, it was like he regrouped at 5-5, broke again and served it out.”
READ MORE: French Open day two: Carlos Alcaraz hits a worldie, Roland Garros balls ‘terrible and silly’
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