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Alcaraz's Triumphant Return at the 2024 Australian Open

Alcaraz's Triumphant Return at the 2024 Australian Open: Carlos Alcaraz makes a winning start to his 2024 Australian Open campaign, beating Richard Gasquet in the first round. The Spaniard sets up a second round clash with Lorenzo Sonego.

Alcaraz's Triumphant Return at the 2024

Making his much-awaited return after missing the last two editions, second seed Carlos Alcaraz kicked off his 2024 Australian Open bid with a hard-fought win against veteran Richard Gasquet. Though tested strongly in the opening set, Alcaraz upped his game to race to a 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-2 victory in just over two hours.

Alcaraz Struggles Early Before Finding Rhythm

Facing an in-form Gasquet playing some inspired tennis, Alcaraz struggled to impose himself in the early stages. The Frenchman's dazzling single-handed backhand was on full display as he pushed the second seed to a tiebreaker. But Alcaraz managed to edge the tense breaker 7-5 and that was enough to knock Gasquet off his stride.

Set 1 Key Moments Description
Gasquet backhand winners Dazzled the Rod Laver Arena crowd with some spectacular winners, especially off his backhand side
First set tiebreaker Gasquet led 5-4 before Alcaraz won three straight points to take the breaker 7-5

With the tough opening set under his belt, Alcaraz relaxed into his flowing brand of attacking tennis. Looking increasingly comfortable on court, his racquet skills, speed and shotmaking brilliance came to the fore as Gasquet faded.

Alcaraz Finds Top Gear to Surge Ahead

The second and third sets saw a very different complexion as Alcaraz stamped his authority. Racing through his service games, he broke Gasquet twice in both sets to notch 6-1, 6-2 wins.

Sets 2 & 3 Key Factors Description
Winners count Alcaraz hit a total of 53 winners compared to just 19 by Gasquet
Net play Alcaraz regularly approached the net and showcased excellent volleying
Break points Converted 4 out of 9 break chances to take control of the contest

Playing his aggressive brand of tennis, the Spaniard overpowered Gasquet to race away with the match. His racquet skills, athleticism and shot making were on full display as he surged to victory.

First Win Since Lifting US Open Trophy

This was Alcaraz's first competitive match since winning the US Open title in September 2022. Having missed a significant part of the 2023 season due to injuries, the World No. 2 has his eyes set on the top ranking again.

Key Achievements Description
2022 US Open Became the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras in 1990
2023 Wimbledon At 19, was the youngest Wimbledon titlist since Boris Becker in 1985

With reigning champion Djokovic and 22-time major winner Nadal in the same half of the draw, Alcaraz will fancy his chances of claiming the title on his return to Melbourne Park.

Second Round Opponent Lorenzo Sonego Awaits

Alcaraz's second round opponent will be Lorenzo Sonego, who staged a remarkable recovery from two sets down to beat Daniel Evans. The Italian displayed tremendous fighting spirit, saving a match point in the fourth set tiebreaker.

Sonego's Win Description
Result Beat Evans 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Key moment Saved match point in the fourth set tiebreaker at 6-7
Strategy vs Alcaraz Will need to start strongly and not fall behind against the rampant Spaniard

If Sonego tries to play catch up against Alcaraz like he did against Evans, the match could be a lopsided affair. He will need to come out firing right from ball one.

Conclusion:

Marking his first Grand Slam appearance after a long injury layoff, Carlos Alcaraz showed glimpses of his breathtaking best in a hard fought win against Richard Gasquet. Despite early struggles, the Spaniard found his imposing rhythm to sail into the second round. Up against Lorenzo Sonego next, the second seed remains a strong title contender if he can sustain his performance level through the fortnight.

FAQ:

Q1: Who did Carlos Alcaraz defeat in his first round match?


A1: Alcaraz defeated veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-2 in the Australian Open first round.


Q2: How long was Alcaraz out of action due to injury?


A2: Alcaraz missed a significant portion of the 2023 season with abdominal and hamstring injuries, last playing at the Paris Masters in November 2022.


Q3: What is Alcaraz's win-loss record at the Australian Open before 2024?


A3: Alcaraz made losing appearances in the second round in 2021 and first round in 2022. His record before 2024 stood at just 1-2.


Q4: Who will Alcaraz play in the Australian Open second round?


A4: Alcaraz will take on Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the second round. Sonego staged a remarkable 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-2, 7-6(4) win over Daniel Evans.


Q5: How many Grand Slam titles has Alcaraz won so far?


A5: Still only 20 years old, Alcaraz has won one Grand Slam so far - the 2022 US Open where he defeated Casper Ruud to become the youngest male champion since Pete Sampras in 1990.


Q6: What is Alcaraz's career-high ATP ranking?


A6: Following his US Open triumph in September 2022, Alcaraz rose to World No. 1 - the youngest man ever to top the ATP rankings.

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