The Murcian only lost six games in his debut against the Argentine Londero and will face Albert Ramos in the second round
Carlos Alcaraz did not get the nerves to step on the center court of Roland Garros for the first time, in an official match. Philippe Chatrier, halfway through the entrance due to the peculiarity of being a Sunday, witnessed the first meeting of the Murcian star in a setting that will be very familiar to him in the coming years. A first victory against Juan Ignacio Londero (6-4, 6-2 and 6-0) that shows that the Spaniard has landed in Paris with the same inertia with which he left Madrid two weeks ago.
The rest during the tournament in Rome, so as not to further stress a battered ankle in the Madrid tournament, has been good for Alcaraz, who did not leave anything to tilt Londero and add what is only his third victory at Roland Garros. The two weeks of hiatus were not noticed in the Alcaraz game, which people are already following very closely in Paris, with lots of fans to get his autograph and with dozens of cameras pointing at him in each training session. In recent days he has come across Rafa Nadal in the facilities and has practiced with Novak Djokovic, his two great rivals for the title.
Because here Alcaraz already arrives as a favorite, not as a promise. That is why a debacle, after a time without competing, as happened in Monte Carlo, was not debatable. Londero arrived with more rhythm, yes. The Argentine came from the previous phase, where he won his first two games, but fell in the third, with the luck that a last-minute withdrawal allowed him to enter the draw as a ‘lucky loser’.
An opportunity to exhibit himself in the central, but that Alcaraz deactivated with an iron fist. The Spaniard went from less to more and had to face nine atypical games, with a changing dominance, before being able to turn the match in his favor. “At the beginning of the match it was difficult for me to adapt to the distances of the track, which is very large,” he pointed out after the match.
At a critical moment, in the tenth game of the first set, when Londero was serving to stay alive in that set, Alcaraz pressed, moved up a gear and broke serve. He scored the set and there was no turning back. It was a matter of time before Londero, who is now 141 in the world and became 50 in 2019, fell apart.
It wasn’t the cleanest match for Alcaraz either, who finished with 25 unforced errors, nor was it the most aggressive, with his winning shot count stopped at 22, but it was the match that the Murcian needed to make his debut in a tournament that puts as a favorite to lift the Musketeers Cup on June 5.
Londero lasted just under two hours for Alcaraz, who was the first of the big three to jump onto the scene, with Djokovic and Nadal ready for this Monday. This will give Alcaraz an extra day of rest as the tournament progresses. Alcaraz’s next rival will be Albert Ramos, who defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis, and against whom he achieved his first professional victory in Rio de Janeiro 2020. “This is something unique. I consider this stadium one of the best. This tournament is one of those that I have always seen as a child, ”said Alcaraz on the track.
Muguruza falls to the bottom
The bitter surprise of the day was given by Garbiñe Muguruza, who imploded again. The Spaniard lost to Kaia Kanepi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that she came to dominate 6-2, 3-1 and which means the first time in her career that she has lost in the first round at Roland Garros. Losing leads is becoming the trend for Muguruza, who squandered a similar score last week in Rabat and also in Rome two weeks ago. In addition to Muguruza, Ons Jabeur, champion in Madrid, fell in her debut against Magda Linette (3-6, 7-6 and 7-5).
As for the rest of the Spanish, Jaume Munar beat Daniel Altmaier, Borna Coric defeated Carlos Taberner and Beatriz Haddad Maia beat Cristina Bucsa.
#Alcaraz #enters #Roland #Garros