Australian Open: Alcaraz Beats Gasquet; Fils, Michelsen Earn Debut Wins - Eastern Mirror
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Australian Open: Alcaraz beats Gasquet; Fils, Michelsen earn debut wins

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By IANS Updated: Jan 16, 2024 7:02 pm
Australian Open
Photo: IANS

MELBOURNE — World no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz won his first match of the year by wearing down 37-year-old Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets on Tuesday.

Once the second seed from Spain had raised his game in time to edge a tight 72-minute first set on a tiebreak, the two-time major winner pulled away to ease through 7-6(5) 6-1 6-2, his first win in Melbourne since 2022.

The Spaniard missed last year’s event due to injury, and will be keen to keep building momentum when he next faces Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the second round on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Arthur Fils continued his strong start to the 2024 season with a debut victory at the Australian Open. The Frenchman defeated Jiri Vesely 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3, turning the opening-round match around with a late surge in the second set.

Fils, who reached the Next Gen ATP Finals title match to close 2023, opened the new year with a quarterfinal run in Hong Kong and a semifinal showing in Auckland. The 19-year-old awaits 28th seed Tallon Griekspoor, who defeated Wimbledon quarter-finalist Roman Safiullin 2-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 7-5 in five-setter.

On the other hand, Alex Michelsen also earned a debut win in Melbourne, beating local player James McCabe 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. The American, who also competed at the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals, picked up his first tour-level win of 2023 after successful qualifying campaigns in Brisbane and Auckland.

Michelsen’s next opponent will be 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up and newly minted Adelaide champion Jiri Lehecka, the 32nd seed in the men’s singles draw.

Another NextGen ATP player who earned a victory on Tuesday was 18-year-old Shang Juncheng, who rallied past American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 1-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 after three hours and 26 minutes.

Also read: Australian Open: Caroline Gracia stun Osaka, De Minaur advance to second round

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By IANS Updated: Jan 16, 2024 7:02:36 pm
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