Alcaraz suffers, but manages to advance to the third round of Roland Garros

PARIS.- The right hand of Carlos Alcaraz caused problems in Roland Garros. The same as his rival who came from the qualifying round and is 176th in the world. After dropping the third set and trailing by a break in the fourth, Alcaraz needed to accelerate — and he did, winning five games in a row to beat Jesper de Jong 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 Wednesday in the second round.

Heavy rain at the beginning of the day forced the postponement of 23 individual matches. Alcaraz was lucky that he was able to play and advanced on the Philippe Chartier court, which has a retractable roof.

Even so, he could not eliminate De Jong so easily, the 23-year-old Dutchman who is participating in a Grand Slam for only the second time. The former world number one is the third seed in the tournament and has won two majors at 21 years old.

But Alcaraz is dealing with a problem with his right arm, which limited his preparation for Roland Garros and he even admitted that he is afraid to use his strong right hand. He has been wearing a white forearm sleeve, which has possibly helped, yet he made 26 unforced errors with his forehand, more than half of his 47 total.

Although he prides himself on being an entertaining tennis player and not just an athlete, he will have to recalibrate a bit.

“I had to forget a little about putting on a show… it was difficult,” Alcaraz admitted. “I was in trouble a little bit, but happy to make it in the end.”

But not before allowing De Jong to become the lowest ranked tennis player to win a set in a Grand Slam.

Rain interrupted games on the outdoor courts for almost 45 minutes. Only the duels at Chartier and Suzanne Lenglen continued.

Triumphs of the day in Paris:

Among the winners of the day were Sofia Kenin, Australian 2020 champion and finalist that year at the French Open, as well as two finalists in a Grand Slam: Ons Jabeur and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Jabeur advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory against Camila Osorio and Tsitsipas continues his path by beating Daniel 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4 Altmaier.

Kenin arrived at the French Open with a 4-13 record on the season and is now in the third round of Roland Garros after eliminating Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia (21) 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday.

“His style of play destroyed my strengths. He takes the ball quickly, changes direction, returns the ball well,” Garcia acknowledged. “That makes it difficult to play against them.”

The 25-year-old tennis player's career suffered due to several health problems and she is currently 56th in the rankings after reaching fourth place at one point. She had not participated in the French Open since 2021.

“I love clay, I feel like it fits my game. I try to use it to my advantage and I love the courts here. Especially playing on the Philippe Chatrier court was special and memorable. “I feel very comfortable on this court,” said Kenin. “I have great memories there, so I try to use that to my advantage.”

Kenin had to deal with a nagging foot issue, COVID-19 and a right ankle injury.

Her results in major events have been poor: she has been eliminated in the first or second round in six of the last seven Grand Slams. Kenin hasn't played particularly well this year and has lost seven times in the first round.

But clay has been his ally with five of six wins on this surface and which is used in the French Open. The surface emphasizes movements, one of Kenin's skills.

“I feel like I'm playing great tennis, the hard work is paying off,” Kenin said. “I'm very happy”.

Swiatek, current world number one, is scheduled to face former number one Naomi Osaka later.

Both have four Grand Slam titles, but Swiatek has three trophies at Roland Garros including the last two.