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Carlos Alcaraz passes Taro Daniel’s test, advances at French Open

Carlos Alcaraz came through a tricky early test at the French Open with flying colors, as the world No. 1 sealed a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Japan’s Taro Daniel on Wednesday to reach the third round.

Alcaraz enjoyed a dominant opening victory over Flavio Cobolli in his first match as the top seed in a Grand Slam, and the 20-year-old from Spain used another blistering start versus Daniel to ease through the first set on the back of two breaks.

Daniel pounced early in the second set to grab a 3-0 lead before Alcaraz got on the board. He continued to batter the suddenly error-prone Alcaraz with some relentless hitting from the baseline before leveling the contest.

But Daniel, who is ranked No. 112, was quickly on the back foot again as Alcaraz regained focus to break early and close out the third set in style, conceding only one late game. Alcaraz then closed out the match to book an encounter with Canadian 26-seed Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Matteo Arnaldi 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

The fifth-seeded Greek player was a bit slow to find his range and was made to work hard for two sets but rolled after he gained the tiebreaker.

American Sebastian Korda, seeded 24th, was swept 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-4 by Sebastian Ofner, Thanasi Kokkinakis won a five-setter over 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, and Cameron Norrie held off a late comeback from Lucas Pouille to win 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

Steve Carr

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