Alcaraz clinches No. 1 ranking with win in Rome

Products You May Like

World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz marked his Italian Open debut by shaking off a sluggish start to emerge with an efficient 6-4, 6-1 second-round win over unseeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas on a rain-affected Saturday in Rome.

Alcaraz, who is chasing his fifth title of 2023 and fourth on clay ahead of the French Open, overcame an early loss of serve amid heavy conditions at the Foro Italico to level the opening set at 2-2.

Alcaraz, 20, who had a first-round bye, earned another chance to break Ramos-Vinolas with a deft drop shot in an intense 10th game and took the advantage in the match when his compatriot finally fell to the pressure and sent a forehand long. Alcaraz continued to build momentum and raced ahead 3-0 in the second set against a fading Ramos-Vinolas, wrapping up the match on serve to make it 12 wins in a row.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Alcaraz, who will leapfrog Novak Djokovic into top spot in the rankings on May 22. “The first round of every tournament is really tough, and of course, Ramos-Vinolas is a specialist on clay. I had to adapt my game quickly to be able to go through.

“The conditions weren’t easy, the rain and the waiting all day to know if I’m going to be able to play … but I’m really happy with my performance in the end.”

Monte Carlo champion Andrey Rublev overcame Alex Molcan 6-3, 6-4 in a twice-interrupted match to book his place in the third round.

“I’m happy that I was able to finish just before the rain,” Rublev said as the showers arrived again following the match. “I can rest now, and I can rest tomorrow. I don’t need to stress waiting until the afternoon.”

Rublev’s Russian compatriot Daniil Medvedev will not have that luxury, however, and will look for his first victory in Rome when he opens his campaign against Finn Emil Ruusuvuori in a late match.

Alexander Zverev, the 2017 champion, is also in action in the evening and meets David Goffin, while fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Nuno Borges.

Qualifier Camila Osorio served up another upset in the women’s draw after her win over 29th-seeded Petra Martic, when the Colombian downed world No. 4 Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-4 to make the round of 16.

Sofia Kenin’s resurgent run came to an end as the former Australian Open champion, who took out world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the previous round, failed to find a way past Anhelina Kalinina and lost 6-4, 6-2.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Casper Ruud verslaat Novak Djokovic voor eerste keer in carrière en bereikt finales Masters van Monte Carlo
Stefanos Tsitsipas en Rafael Nadal op koers voor de Barcelona Open
Gemma Triay: Reflecties op nieuwe partners en benadering in Premier Padel
Revolutie in de wereld van Padel: Het Verhaal van Courtly
Kiezen van het juiste racket voor je Racketsport: Het belang van hybride rackets