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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday June 2, 2023

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz made light work of Denis Shapovalov to reach the second week at the French Open.

Photo Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty

Carlos Alcaraz has eased into the second week at Roland-Garros and only dropped one set in the process. On Friday night in the French capital the Spaniard continued blazing his trail at the Grand Slams, winning his 10th straight at the majors by defeating Denis Shapovalov, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

Tennis Express

What makes the top-seeded Spaniard so difficult to defeat these days? The Spaniard said it himself, to a room full of reporters after the win.

“I would say I'm a complete player,” he said. “You know, I would say the strongest thing that I have on court is that I push to the limit, I push the opponent to the limit every time. He has to do great things, great stuff to work on my -- to overcome me. I would say that I'm over there every point playing great points. And I don't lose the focus. I would say that's my strong thing on court.”

The World No.1 will have to bring out his strong suit on Sunday when he faces Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 16. The Roman native earned a hard-fought win over Alcaraz last year in Hamburg, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4, in a roller coaster battle that marked the Italian’s first ATP title.

"But I cannot describe what I am feeling right now. I think I am still dreaming,” said Musetti after the victory.

That, to date, has been the pair’s only meeting. The Spaniard is looking forward to take his revenge in their second meeting.

“I remember the match in Hamburg,” he said. “It was really, really tough. Yeah, this is a match that I am really looking for – I really want to play that match.

“I would say it's gonna be really good rallies, good shots between us, and of course is gonna be a really fun match to watch.”

Alcaraz, like many players, doesn’t like the RG ball

Novak Djokovic talked about it earlier on Friday. In the evening it was Alcaraz’s turn to say his piece. The balls at Roland-Garros this year are too heavy and play to slow.

Not that he’s going to let that bother him.

“I feel that for me is tougher, the ball goes slower – it is tougher to hit the ball as strong as I want,” Alcaraz said.

Alcaraz says not to worry, he’s figuring it out.

“I'm a guy who adapt his game really good. So I adapt my game into the ball really good. I like the ball, but I feel every player who said that is tough to play with that.”

The ball didn’t keep Alcaraz from hammering 25 winners against 24 unforced (compared to 17 winners and 39 unforced for Shapovalov).

Alcaraz dominated on all fronts against erratic Shapovalov, winning 58 of 96 short points (1-4 stroke rallies) and 17 of 27 rallies of nine strokes or more.


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