Carlos Alcaraz started the Roland Garros title chase with a dominant 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph over the Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli. The Spaniard played his first match at Majors as world no. 1 and had the upper hand from start to finish on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
He sealed the deal in an hour and 57 minutes to send a clear message to his main rivals after an early Rome Masters exit. Alcaraz secured his 25th victory at Majors at 20, competing on the notable scene as the top seed for the first time and setting his eyes on the second Major trophy.
Carlos lost serve once and secured seven return games to control the pace and sail over the top. He could have finished the job earlier, leading 5-3 in the third set before Cobolli fought back to extend the drama. However, the Spaniard won the final two games to emerge at the top.
Carlos fired up his engines immediately and delivered his third bagel at Majors in the opening set. The world's leading player dropped three points behind the initial shot and tamed the rival's initial stroke for complete domination.
Cobolli claimed seven out of 20 points in his games and embraced the worst debut at Majors. Carlos forced Flavio's error in the encounter's first game for an early lead and a boost. The Spaniard held in game two with a service winner and caused another mistake from the Italian in the next one to secure his second break and open a 3-0 gap.
Alcaraz moved 4-0 up with a hold at love and delivered another break a few minutes later when Cobolli sprayed a forehand mistake. World no. 1 landed a service winner in the sixth game to provide a bagel and wrap up the opener in swift 24 minutes.
The Spaniard kept that pace in set number two, losing three points in his games and earning two breaks to clinch the set in under half an hour. After a powerful forehand attack, Alcaraz broke at love in the first game and rattled off his eighth straight game with a fine hold for 2-0.
Carlos Alcaraz made a winning start at Roland Garros.
The Italian found his strokes in games three and five, securing two comfortable service games and already doing better than in the opener. However, Carlos produced one impressive hold after another and opened a 4-2 advantage.
The Spaniard fired a forehand crosscourt return winner in game seven for a break at 15 and clinched the set with a forehand winner at 5-2 for 6-0, 6-2 in 52 minutes! Alcaraz experienced his first issues behind the initial shot in the third set's fourth game.
He denied two break points and missed his opportunity in the next one to keep the rival on the positive side. Carlos locked the sixth game with a great half-volley winner at the net and sent the pressure to the other side. Flavio saved two break points in the seventh game before netting a forehand on the third to push Carlos 4-3 in front and closer to the finish line.
The Spaniard grabbed the eighth game with a service winner, and the Italian served to stay in the match at 3-5. Alcaraz created three match points on the return and missed them, including a volley at the net on the third. Cobolli grabbed five straight points for a massive escape, reducing the deficit to 5-4.
Carlos struggled in the tenth game, defending two break points and facing the third following a backhand error. The Italian seized it with a forehand winner at the net to level the score at 5-5 and gain a massive boost. Alcaraz stayed calm and secured another break in game 11 following Cobolli's forehand error.
The Spaniard served for the victory for the second time at 6-5 and fired a service winner to seal the deal and emerge at the top.
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