Tennis: Alcaraz survives scare at French Open

AFP , Wednesday 29 May 2024

World number three Carlos Alcaraz survived a huge scare at the hands of 176th-ranked Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong to reach the third round after a four-set triumph on Wednesday.

Alcaraz Garfia
Spain s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia celebrates after winning his men s singles match against Dutch Jesper De Jong on Court Philippe-Chatrier on day four of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on May 29, 2024. AFP

 

Wimbledon champion Alcaraz, who made the semi-finals at Roland Garros last year, scrambled to a 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 second round victory over a player taking part in only his second Grand Slam main draw.

The 21-year-old Spaniard was broken five times and hit 47 unforced errors before De Jong, playing his fifth match at the tournament, eventually wilted under the roof of Court Phillipe Chatrier.

"Every player can cause you trouble," said Alcaraz.

"You have to be focussed in every round, have to play at your best, it doesn't matter what the ranking is. Jesper has the work and level to break into the top 100."

Alcaraz goes on to face either American 27th seed Sebastian Korda or South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo for a place in the last 16.

Despite being broken in the second game of the opening set, Alcaraz broke three times himself to grab the advantage.

The battling Dutchman then saved eight break points over the course of the second set before the Spaniard found the killer blow.

However, Alcaraz, who arrived at the tournament under an injury cloud after sitting out the Rome Open with a right arm problem, went off the boil in the third set.

He committed 15 unforced errors to the Dutchman's five as the qualifier cut the deficit.

Alcaraz then twice had to come back from breaks early in the fourth set before running away with the last four games to triumph.

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