Carlos Alcaraz launches his quest for a maiden French Open title against Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli on Monday. The world…
Carlos Alcaraz launches his quest for a maiden French Open title against Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli on Monday.
The world number one is among the heavy favourites to triumph at Roland Garros, where he reached the quarter-finals in only his second appearance last season before losing to Alexander Zverev.
Alcaraz arrives in the French capital having already landed four ATP titles this season, including the Indian Wells Masters, while his other three came on clay in Madrid, Barcelona and Buenos Aires.
But despite his strong start to 2023, the reigning US Open champion was brought back down to earth in Rome, where he suffered a surprise third-round defeat at the hands of world number 135 Fabian Marozsan.
That will encourage world number 159 Cobolli, who is gearing up for his first appearance in a grand slam main draw.
The 21-year-old came through three qualifying rounds to do so, defeating Mathys Erhard, Lukas Klein and Laurent Lokoli
Cobolli already has fond memories of Roland Garros, having won the boys’ doubles title with Dominic Stricker in 2020 – a year after they were beaten in the final.
The Italian will also take confidence from his run to the Munich quarter-finals, where he beat Jordan Thompson and Oscar Otte before losing to Christopher O’Connell, while he was a Challenger Tour semi-finalist in Zadar and Rome.
The winner of this match will play Taro Daniel in the second round later in the week.
The match gets underway from around 4pm BST on Monday and will be contested over the best of five sets at Roland Garros.
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