Carlos Alcaraz rolls to victory in first match at Rome

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Second-seeded Carlos Alcaraz began his quest for a third consecutive ATP title when he posted a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Saturday in the rain-ravaged second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Alcaraz had 23 winners against 10 unforced errors while defeating the fellow Spaniard in 86 minutes. It was Alcaraz’s 12th straight victory.

By stepping on the court Saturday, Alcaraz also guaranteed he will return to the No. 1 spot when the next rankings are released on May 22.

Alcaraz won titles in Barcelona and Madrid and is looking to keep his strong season going.

“It wasn’t easy. The first (match) of every tournament is really tough and, of course, Albert Ramos, especially on clay, is a really tough opponent,” Alcaraz said of his match, which was delayed by rain earlier in the day. “I had to adapt my game really quickly to be able to get though. The conditions weren’t easy as well, the rain, the waiting all day. I didn’t know if I was going to play or not. But I’m really happy with my performance at the end and really happy to be able to play in the next round.”

Ramos-Vinolas had just nine winners and committed 19 unforced errors.

Sixth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Slovakia’s Alex Molcan in 80 minutes in a match that was twice delayed by rain.

Rubley had 17 winners against just three unforced errors.

“It was tough conditions, but I think I played well,” Rublev said. “I really like slower courts, especially when it’s weather like this, cold and rainy. I like it even more because I have more time.”

American J.J. Wolf pulled off an upset, knocking off 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-3, 6-4.

No. 15 seed Borna Coric of Croatia picked up his 200th tour-level win by outlasting Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 4-6, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5). Coric will next face Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, who registered a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-4 victory over No. 20 seed Daniel Evans of Great Britain.

In other completed matches, Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego recorded a 7-5, 6-3 upset of No. 25 seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan; No. 27 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain defeated Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-0, 7-6 (4); and 31st-seeded Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 win over Australia’s Jason Kubler.

Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece was up 6-3, 4-3 over Portugal’s Nunu Borges when play was suspended by rain. Germany’s Daniel Altmaier was up 6-3, 3-4 over 12th-seeded Frances Tiafoe when their match was suspended.

Italy’s Fabian Marozsan was leading 2-1 in the third set against No. 32 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic when play was halted. Lehecka won the first set 6-4 before Marozsan prevailed 6-1 in the second.

Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia and 19th-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany had their respective matches rained out and rescheduled for Sunday. Medvedev faces Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori while Zverev will play David Goffin of Belgium.

No. 18 seed Lorenzo Musetti’s match with fellow Italian Matteo Arnaldi also was postponed to Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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