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Alcaraz pushes through for second week at Roland Garros

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Alcaraz pushes through for second week at Roland Garros

Paris, June 1 (IANS) Two-time Grand Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz defeated Sebastian Korda in straight sets to reach the last 16 of the French Open for a third successive year.

The Wimbledon defending champion, playing for the night session for the first time this year at Roland Garros, dispatched the American 27th seed 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to set a round of 16 clash against the winner between another American player Ben Shelton, seeded 15th, and Canada’s 21st seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, with the pair’s match was interrupted by the rain when Auger-Aliassime led by 5-4 in the first set, reported Xinhua.

21-year-old Alcaraz reached the semifinals in Paris last year, where eventual champion Novak Djokovic defeated him, and beat Korda at the same stage in the clay major in 2022.

The No.3 seed hit 38 winners (Korda totaled just 20) to 27 unforced errors (Korda had 40), and landed 78 percent of his first serves.

“It was a really good match. I think I played really, really, well, much better than the previous match. This was something that I really wanted: to get in the rally, to play good points, feeling (like) myself on the court, and I think I did that really well,” Alcaraz said on the court.

Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi delivered the biggest upset of the day as the unseeded player toppled 6th seed Andrey Rublev to reach the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the first time.

Over three impressive sets in which he barely stumbled, the 23-year-old handed Rublev his second straight third-round exit in Paris, 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-4.

It was the first victory over a top 20 opponent on clay or a top 10 rival at a major for the world No.35.

“It’s incredible. I think I have played the best tennis for sure of my life, I’d say, because to do it for three sets – it’s easy to do in two sets in a normal tournament, but in a Slam playing three sets at this level I think I wasn’t even expecting,” said Arnaldi, who will next face clay specialist Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the quarterfinal.

 

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