In his first slam match as a No.1 seed, Carlos Alcaraz will face qualifier Flavio Cobolli for a spot in round two. Despite his status as top seed, he will not be given a Philipp Chatrier assignment with this match instead being the second of two men’s matches on Suzanne Lenglen. Alcaraz is considered the bookies favourite for the tournament at this point but a half that includes both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic means that it will not be easy.
Alcaraz has been in great form all year and is a rightful No.1 which made his shock loss to Fabian Maroszan in Rome all the more surprising. That was just his third loss of the year following defeats in Rio and Miami. “I would say I’m the same player as last year, only change that I would say is that I’m more mature. Mentally I’m better,” Alcaraz said. “I can read what happened on court better than last year. For me, it’s really, really important, and I would say it’s the most different than last year.”
Cobolli was a decent junior player but his rise up the rankings on the main tour has come a bit slower. He is now into his first slam at the age of 21 with wins over Mathys Erhard, Lukas Klein and Laurent Lokoli securing his spot in the main draw via qualifying. The Italian has not played too many matches at this level but acquitted himself well in Munich last month, making the quarter finals as a qualifier.
The top seed should be able to make his way through this one without little trouble, especially with Cobolli having no experience in the best of five format. The loss to Maroszan should focus Alcaraz’s mind though, reminding him that any player can be dangerous on the correct day. It seems unlikely though that the qualifier will be able to target him enough on return to make a dent on the Spaniard’s serve.
Prediction – Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets