Carlos Alcaraz made light work of Juan Ignacio Londero, dispatching the Argentine 6-4 6-2 6-0 to progress to the second round of the French Open.
The match was finely poised at 4-4 in the first, but the Spanish sensation won 14 of the next 16 games to progress to round two.
Alcaraz is just 19 years old, but the power and poise on display was greater than the majority of the older players on the tour. Some of his forehand returns easily beat his experienced opponent not through placement, but from the sheer pace he could summon up.
Alcaraz sealed the win with a bagel for his 29th win of an extraordinary year. The 19-year-old said prior to the tournament that he feels he has the potential to perform well at Grand Slams and he will take some stopping on this showing. Londero had not played poorly until defeat appeared inevitable, but the Spaniard ramped up the pressure as he increasingly conjured up one break point after another.
“I’m ready to play in Roland-Garros. I think I’m able to get great results in Grand Slams,” said Alcaraz at the Rome Masters.
“Roland-Garros is a good challenge for me.
“It’s a bit different [playing five sets]. Playing best-of-five means more time on court, you have to be more focused during more time and playing these type of players is tougher, but we are ready.”
Alcaraz discussed the speculation that he was now becoming one of the favourites for the Grand Slam, and he claimed he used the pressure as inspiration.
“People are going to think that I’m one of the favourites to win Roland Garros,” he said. “I don’t have it as tension, I have it as a motivation.
“This game helps me get into a rhythm and adapt to the court.”
In sealing the victory, Eurosport commentator Chris Bradnam hailed Alcaraz as a “formidable talent” as he secured his progression.