Match Report

Alcaraz Makes Strong Start In Paris

Spaniard awaits Dimitrov or Fognini in third round
November 02, 2022
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Carlos Alcaraz in full flight during his opening-round win in Paris. By ATP Staff

With his position atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on the line this week at the Rolex Paris Masters, Carlos Alcaraz opened his campaign with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Yoshihito Nishioka on centre court. The Spaniard must reach the quarter-finals to guarantee a stay as World No. 1, with Rafael Nadal within striking distance should he win the title at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

"First round in every tournament is never easy," Alcaraz said after the victory, during which he had his left knee taped as a precaution at the close of a gruelling season. "You have to be really focussed, you have to try to get good rhythm, good feeling in the first round. I'm really happy with the performance, the level that I played, and I'm looking forward to getting better in the next round."

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The 19-year-old was sharp in his first ATP Head2Head meeting with Nishioka, firing 30 winners and winning 11 of 12 net points in the one-hour, 12-minute contest. He hit nine aces in a strong serving performance, though he lost the only break point he faced as his Japanese opponent converted to level the opening set at 4-4.

Alcaraz responded with an immediate break back before serving out the opener, and used a finishing flurry to close out the match, winning 12 of the final 14 points. He recorded five love holds, including in his final service game, winning 85 per cent (29/34) of his first-serve points.

"This court is a little bit different than Basel," Alcaraz assessed. "I had to get used to this court in the match. I felt [it was] fast, this court, but I'm a good player on indoor courts... These kind of courts help me with my game."

The top seed's serving dominance can be seen in his Shot Quality score of 8.6 out of 10. The metric factors in a number of statistics to determine the effectiveness of a player's strokes. Learn more about Shot Quality.

<a href=''>Carlos Alcaraz</a>

The Spaniard awaits Grigor Dimitrov or Fabio Fognini in the third round, with Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz and Holger Rune potential quarter-final opponents.

Nishioka finalises his 2022 ATP Tour season at 19-17, his best result a title run in Seoul last month. The 27-year-old was seeking his first career win against a reigning World No. 1.

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