ROME (AP) – Carlos Alcaraz will reclaim the number one ranking after beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-1 in his Italian Open debut on Saturday.
Alcaraz will pass Novak Djokovic for the top spot when the rankings are next published on May 22 – ensuring he will get the number one seeding at the French Open, which starts on May 28.
Alcaraz double-faulted to hand Ramos-Vinolas a break of his serve in the opening game of the match but he quickly recovered and used his well-disguised drop shot to set up the key break at the end of the first set.
Alcaraz produced nearly three times as many winners as Ramos-Vinolas, 28-11, despite slow conditions on a rainy day at the Foro Italico.
Coming off titles in Barcelona and Madrid, Alcaraz extended his winning streak to 12 matches and improved to 20-1 on clay this year.
In other second-round matches, sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev beat Alex Molcan 6-3, 6-4; 2021 semifinalist Lorenzo Sonego defeated Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5, 6-3; JJ Wolf eliminated 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4; and Borna Coric rallied past Thiago Monteiro 4-6, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5).
Alcaraz will next face Jiri Lehecka or Hungarian qualifier Fabian Marozsan. Djokovic, who is in the other half of the draw, won his opening match on Friday.
In the women’s third round, Colombian qualifier Camila Osorio upset fifth-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-4; Anhelina Kalinina beat Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-2; and Wang Xiyu defeated Taylor Townsend 6-2, 0-6, 7-5.
Several other matches were either suspended or postponed due to rain.
Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas was leading Nuno Borges 6-3, 4-3 when their match was stopped.
German qualifier Daniel Altmaier was leading Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 3-4; while Lehecka and Marozsan had just started a third set.