Alcaraz, Jabeur reach French Open third round

PARIS   -   Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz reached the French Open third round but suffered a worrying loss of form midway through his match against Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong before winning 6-3 6-4 2-6 6-2 on Wednesday.

The third seed was forced to work hard for a two-set lead under the Court Philippe Chatrier roof but 176th-ranked De Jong refused to be intimidated and extended the match as Alcaraz suffered a third-set slump. An error-strewn Alcaraz continued to struggle as the first four games of the fourth set all went against serve with the 21-year-old becoming increasingly frustrated on court.

But Alcaraz regained some control in the nick of time to hold serve for a 3-2 lead and he broke De Jong in the next game as his gritty opponent finally began to run out of steam. There was some relief as Alcaraz accelerated towards victory and De Jong netted a forehand after a little more than three hours to end an absorbing contest.

“I mean, I said many times every player can make you in trouble and you have to be focused on every point, in every round, it doesn’t matter about rankings,” the Wimbledon champion said in his on-court interview.

“It’s good for me to get some rhythm but I prefer to spend some less hours on court.”Alcaraz will face either American 27th seed Sebastian Korda or South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo in the next round.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur beat Colombia’s Camila Osorio 6-3 1-6 6-3 in a roller-coaster match in humid conditions under the roof on Court Suzanne-Lenglen to move into the third round of the French Open. Jabeur hardly put a foot wrong in the opening set but she allowed Osorio to get back into the match with a poor second-set performance before raising her intensity in the third to secure the win.

“Obviously tough conditions for me. I don’tlike when the ball gets too heavy. I didn’t know how to manage much in the second set but I’m glad I turned it back in the third one,” Jabeur told reporters.”I was trying to be more aggressive. Obviously when the balls are new, it’s even better for me. I felt like it was a bit humid inside that court... I would say, a lot humid.”

“It’s always the state of mind. We have to adjust to conditions. It’s completely different to play on Chatrier or on Suzanne-Lenglen,” Jabeur added. “I’m very lucky to play on one of these courts because rain doesn’t help.

But I’m glad that I could adjust my game.

“Physically it was a bit different. It was a bit heavier in terms of conditions. I’m glad that the third set turned out much better than the second set.”

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