Carlos Alcaraz came through a tough battle on Wednesday to beat Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round of the French Open.
The 20-year-old Spaniard, and top seed, eased through the first set with two breaks but Daniel, ranked 112, took the second after racing into a 3-0 lead.
Normal service was resumed as Alcaraz breezed through the next to sets to set up a meeting with Canadian 26th seed Denis Shapovalov, who beat Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi in four sets.
Alcaraz aiming to clinch his second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros after he won the US Open last year.
“I'm very happy with my level. The wind meant conditions were really difficult so I had to adjust as much as possible, I was very focused on each shot,” said Alcaraz.
“Taro was playing great. He is a really tough player and this year he has won matches against great players,” said Alcaraz who is top seed at a Grand Slam for the first time.
The win against gave Alcaraz his 22nd victory in 24 matches on clay this year, a run that has brought him titles on the surface in Buenos Aires, Madrid and Barcelona.
On Wednesday, he fired 46 winners past New York-born Daniel.
Elsewhere in the men's draw, Britain's Cameron Norrie reached the third round for the third year in a row, with a comfortable win over home hope Lucas Pouille.
Ranked 675 in the world after injury and personal problems, Pouille was bidding to make the last 32 at a slam for the first time since Wimbledon in 2019, but Norrie was too strong in a 6-1 6-3 6-3 victory.
Stefanos Tsitsipas also made it through to the third round. The fifth seed beat Spain's Roberto Carballes in straight sets 6-3, 7-6, 6-2.