Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Paris [France], May 31 (ANI): Carlos Alcaraz bounced back from a mid-match slump on Wednesday at Roland Garros to secure his place in the third round of the French Open for the third straight year.

He defeated Taro Daniel by 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. After capturing the first set, Alcaraz suffered a concentration dip in the second set and lost it. However, the 20-year-old was quick to regain his composure and win the match in two hours, 25 minutes.

The top-seed improved his season record to 32 wins-three losses.

"Taro was playing great. He is a really tough player and this year he has won matches against great players," Alcaraz said as quoted by ATP. "The conditions were tough and it was really, really tough, but you have to adjust your game as best as you can. I was really focused on every shot. I played a great level and was happy with the win," he added.

The top-ranked men's singles star is chasing his fifth-tour-level title of the year and second major title in Paris.

The 2022 US Open winner won on hard at Indian Wells after earlier this year's victories on clay in Madrid, Barcelona, and Buenos Aires.

Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Italian Matteo Arnaldi 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, will be the next opponent for the Spaniard, who defeated Daniel with 46 winners.

Alcaraz, a participant in last year's quarterfinals, is presently ranked second in the ATP Live Race to Turin. If the 20-year-old wins his 11th tour-level championship at the clay-court major, he would surpass Live Race leader Daniil Medvedev, who was unexpectedly eliminated in the first round on Tuesday.

On the other side, Thanasi Kokkinakis's persistence and determination paid off as he defeated Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday.

He defeated Wawrinka by 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in a four-hour, 38-minute battle.

On Court Simonne-Mathieu, Kokkinakis had transformed a set and a break disadvantage into a two-sets-to-one lead, but 2015 champion Wawrinka quickly built an insurmountable 5/0 lead in the fourth-set tie-break to force a deciding set in front of a rapt audience.

Before Wawrinka again mounted a comeback, Kokkinakis, 27, regained the initiative by storming to a 4-0 lead in the decisive. The Swiss turned around a thrilling final game at 5-3, saving four match chances after recovering from a 40/0 deficit on return, but he was helpless to save the fifth as the Australian Kokkinakis dug deep to win.

"The first set and a half he was playing I think the best tennis he can play," said Kokkinakis of the Swiss.

"I was just trying to hang in there. I lost a match in a Grand Slam earlier this year against Murray from two sets to love [up], I did not want to do it against another legend.""Having 40/0 [in the last game], you can imagine the things coming into my mind. He never went away. It seemed like when he was down, he was playing better tennis, but I just trusted myself and I am so happy," he concluded.

Kokkinakis next opponent will be Karen Khachanov. The 11th seed Karen won by 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 against the qualifier Radu Albot.

The French Open started on May 22 and will take place till June 11, 2023. (ANI)

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