Published: 09:59, May 27, 2024
Alcaraz mauls Wolf to reach French Open second round
By Reuters
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz serves against Jeffrey John Wolf of the US during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, May 26, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

PARIS - Third seed Carlos Alcaraz made a winning start in his bid to claim a first French Open title when he beat American J.J. Wolf 6-1 6-2 6-1 without any obvious problems on his troublesome right forearm on Sunday.

Last year's semi-finalist arrived at Roland Garros with only four matches under his belt on clay due to the issue that forced him to skip Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, with his Madrid title defence also derailed in between.

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"I had low expectations coming into the tournament but after the practice week, after this first round, well, the confidence is higher. My expectations probably got higher after today's match, but let's see," Alcaraz told reporters.

"All I can say is I'm feeling great on the court. I felt amazing in this match, so hopefully keep going."

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Having previously expressed lingering worries and wearing a compression sleeve, the 21-year-old Spaniard drew gasps from the crowd on Philippe Chatrier court when he dropped serve in the first game of the contest but he responded instantly.

Wolf, a lucky loser from the qualifying tournament making his second appearance in the Paris main draw, struggled to keep up with his opponent thereafter and the 25-year-old was broken three times in a one-sided opening set.

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"Everybody told me I must go to 100 percent on every forehand, but I don't feel as comfortable as before to play every forehand and forget my forearm," added Alcaraz, whose utter dominance belied the fact that he was playing within himself at times.

"I'm trying to hit as many forehands as I can 100 percent, but there are a few (during which) I want to stay easy."

Under grey skies, Alcaraz quickly doubled his advantage in the contest and then raced ahead 3-0 under the roof in the third set, after rain began falling, before closing out the match when Wolf sent a shot long.