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Preview: Djokovic, Alcaraz Start Second-Round Action

Several of the Roland Garros favourites take the court for their second-round contests Wednesday in Paris, including Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

ATPTour.com looks at three key matches on Day 4 of the season’s second major.


[3] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Marton Fucsovics (HUN)

Two-time Roland Garros champion Djokovic continues his bid for a record 23rd major crown against World No. 83 Fucsovics. Djokovic produced a strong serving performance in the opening round, winning 82 per cent of points behind his first delivery against Aleksandar Kovacevic and will now aim to extend his perfect 4-0 ATP Head2Head series record against the Hungarian Fucsovics. Wednesday will be their first meeting on clay.

The Serbian will have to absorb the heavy groundstrokes of Fucsovics, who reached the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2020 after he defeated then-World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in the opening round. One thing to watch is if Fucsovics looks for opportunities to attack the net. In his opening match against Hugo Grenier, the 31-year-old saw success when he came forward, converting 37 of 50 net points. Will that be part of Fucsovics’ strategy to disrupt the rhythm of the 93-time tour-level titlist?

[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. Taro Daniel (JPN)

Playing as the top seed in a Grand Slam for the first time, Alcaraz cruised to a straight-sets victory against qualifier Flavio Cobolli in the opening round and will look to build upon his momentum when he encounters Japan’s Daniel for the first time.

A quarter-finalist last year in Paris, the 20-year-old Alcaraz displayed smooth court coverage and superb shotmaking in his first-round match to extend his season record to 31-3. The Spaniard is aiming for his second major title this fortnight and fifth trophy of the season: Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid. Alcaraz will be focused on the task at hand, though, knowing that Daniel has earned some big wins this year.

World No. 112 Daniel earned his lone Top-10 victory earlier this season, when he defeated Casper Ruud at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco. The 30-year-old also upset Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami this year. The Japanese player will next aim for the biggest win of his career on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP)

Tsitsipas passed a stern first-round test in four sets against Jiri Vesely and now meets the Spaniard Carballes Baena, who reached a career-high No. 49 last month after he won his second tour-level title in Marrakech. The 30-year-old is aiming for his maiden Top-10 victory on his favourite surface.

Tsitsipas, who reached the Roland Garros final in 2021, is gunning for his 20th win at the clay-court major. Kicking off the action on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Tsitsipas and Carballes Baena have met once before, in 2018, when the Greek survived a third-set tie-break to overcome the Spaniard at the ATP 250 event in Estoril.

Also In Action…

Several home hopes will look to upset seeded players on the Parisian clay. Seventh seed Andrey Rublev plays Corentin Moutet and 14th seed Cameron Norrie clashes against Lucas Pouille. 29th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina meets #NextGenATP star Luca Van Assche.

Other intriguing matchups of the day include 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis and 26th seed Denis Shapovalov’s contest against Matteo Arnaldi, who upset Casper Ruud last month at the Mutua Madrid Open. The Italian earned his maiden Grand Slam main-draw win on Sunday and will look to add to that count against Shapovalov.

In doubles action, second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury face Hugo Dellien and Guido Pella. Fourth seeds and last year’s finalists Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek meet Sebastian Baez and Guillermo Duran.


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