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Carlos Alcaraz contested his first ATP Head2Head matchup with Denis Shapovalov.

Alcaraz Dominates Shapovalov At Roland Garros In Pair's First Meeting

Top seed meets Musetti next; Tsitsipas, Djokovic loom beyond

Competing in his third Roland Garros, top seed Carlos Alcaraz advanced to the fourth round for the second time with a dominant victory against Denis Shapovalov on Friday night. The Spaniard earned a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 result in an entertaining evening matchup on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with both competitors thrilling the late-night crowd over the course of the two-hour, 12-minute match.

A quarter-finalist last year in Paris, Alcaraz will next face Italy's Lorenzo Musetti as he bids to match that result. In his post-match press conference, the Spaniard was asked to compare his opening week this year to the first week of his 2022 campaign at the major.

"I remember Roland Garros last year I was more in trouble. I saved match point against Ramos [Albert Ramos-Vinolas]. I remember that match really clearly," he said with a smile, recalling the second-round thriller. "But after that match, I think it was great.... It's totally different for me the first week into the second one."

With a win in his first ATP Head2Head meeting with 26th-seeded Shapovalov, Alcaraz improved to 22-2 against opponents outside the Top 20 at the Grand Slams. He also lifted his record to 33-3 this season, including a 23-2 mark on clay.

After a four-set win against Taro Daniel in the second round, Alcaraz nearly dropped the middle set against Shapovalov. But after falling behind 1-4, the Spaniard used an all-court assault to rattle off seven straight games, stealing the set and opening a 2-0 advantage in the final set.

The big-hitting Shapovalov's threat was undone by his lack of consistency, with Alcaraz raising his level to respond brilliantly to the Canadian's purple patch in the second set.

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Another power player awaits in the fourth round in Musetti, who beat the Spaniard in their lone previous tour-level meeting in the 2022 Hamburg final. As the top seed at a Grand Slam for the first time, and the youngest No. 1 seed at Roland Garros since Bjorn Borg in 1976, the pressure will be on Alcaraz to reverse that result on Sunday.

"It's a big challenge for me," Alcaraz said of the matchup. "He's playing great. He has beaten really tough players. He's a really talented player.

"I remember the match in Hamburg. It was really, really tough. This is a match that I'm really looking for, I really want to play that match. I'm going to enjoy it, because it's going to be a really fun match. I would say it's going to be really good rallies, good shots between us, and of course it's going to be a really fun match to watch, as well."

Beyond Musetti, Alcaraz is seeded to meet Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals and Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in the loaded top half of the men's singles draw.

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