Carlos Alcaraz made a winning debut at the Italian Open and will now return to the top of the men’s world rankings.
Alcaraz cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 win over fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Rome, but by just stepping on the court, the 20-year-old guaranteed to take the number one spot from Novak Djokovic following the ATP Masters 1000 event. .
“It wasn’t easy,” Alcaraz said on the official ATP website after a 12th straight victory improved his record to 30-2 this season.
“The first round of every tournament is very tough and of course Albert, especially on clay, is a very tough opponent.
“I had to adapt my game very quickly to be able to overcome it. The conditions weren’t easy either, the rain, the wait all day.
“I didn’t know if I was going to play or not. But I’m very happy with my performance at the end.”
Roberto Carballes Baena defeated Britain’s Dan Evans 7-6 (5) 5-7 6-4, and there were also second-round victories for Borna Coric, JJ Wolf and Lorenzo Sonego.
World number six Andrey Rublev defeated Alex Molcan 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match with two rain interruptions.
“I’m happy that I was able to finish just before the rain,” Rublev said, speaking when the bad weather returned shortly after match point.
“I really like the slower courts, especially when it’s weather like this, cold and rainy. I like it even more because I have more time.”
In the women’s singles, Camila Osorio earned a historic victory in the third round by defeating number five Caroline Garcia in straight sets.
The 6-4 6-4 victory was the first Top 5 win of the Colombian’s career and takes her to the round of 16 of a WTA 1000 event for the first time.
Osorio’s next challenge is 12th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated Magda Linette 7-5 6-4 in a first-time meeting.
China’s Wang Xiyu advanced against Taylor Townsend after coming from behind in the final set to save a match point to triumph 6-2 0-6 7-5.
Wang said: “I did my best and fought every point. It was good, I fought until the end”.
No.11 seed Veronika Kudermetova, Anhelina Kalinina and Qinwen Zheng also advanced to the last 16 before the rain hit.