French Open 2023 Day 2: Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, American Frances Tiafoe advance to Round 2

On Day 2 of the 2023 French Open, Carlos Alcaraz, the No. 1 seed and the No. 1 men's tennis player in the world, managed to both dominate and make a comeback against qualifier Flavio Cobolli, a 21-year-old in his first Grand Slam main draw.

Alcaraz won the sets 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

In the first two sets, the 20-year-old Alcaraz was unfailingly dominant. He took the first set 6-0 in just 26 minutes, and despite Cobolli winning two games, won the second set in just 27 minutes. It looked like Alcaraz could not be stopped, despite the crowd urging Cobolli to fight back and make the match competitive.

That's just what Cobolli did. After Alcaraz absolutely flattened him in sets one and two, Cobolli won the first game of set three. Then he jumped out to a 2-1 lead. Then they were tied 3-3. Alcaraz managed to win the next two games, but Cobolli wasn't done. Down 5-3 and facing triple match point at 0-40, Cobolli came all the way back and eked out a win to extend the match. But he couldn't maintain the pace he'd set, and started making mistakes that left the door open for Alcaraz — and Alcaraz ran right through it.

For Alcaraz, much of this match looked like it was somewhere between a practice and a highlight reel. He controlled the match for the first two sets, making everything look effortless. Then got in the weeds a bit, but worked himself out and closed out the match. If anyone was worried about his early defeat at the Italian Open, Monday's defeat of Cobolli should give them all peace of mind. Alcaraz is ready.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29.  Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in action against Flavio Cobolli of Italy in the first round of the singles competition on Court Suzanne Lenglen during the 2023 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 29, 2023, in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
On Day 2 of the 2023 French Open, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain defeated Flavio Cobolli of Italy in the first round of the French Open. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

How did the Americans do?

It's just Day 2 at Roland Garros, but the Americans are looking good so far. Here are Monday's winners:

  • No. 12 Frances Tiafoe def. Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

  • Kayla Day def. Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-1

  • Bernarda Pera def. Annet Kontaveit 7-6(6), 6-2

  • Sloane Stephens def. No. 16 Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-4

  • No. 20 Madison Keys def. Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 3-6, 6-1

  • Marcos Giron def. Hamad Medjedovic 6-0, 6-2, 1-6, 6-0

  • Peyton Stearns def. Katerina Siniakova 7-6(7), 6-2

Unfortunately, Brandon Nakashima, Alycia Parks, and Aleksandar Kovacevic did not win and will not be advancing to Round 2.

Notable upsets

  • No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime did not survive a match against revived clay specialist Fabio Fognini, but he might have expected that. Auger-Aliassime has been dealing with a shoulder injury that has turned his 2023 season into a nightmare.

  • No. 10 Petra Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, was shockingly upset by Elisabetta Cocciaretto, ranked No. 44 in the world.

  • Lucky loser Elina Avanesyan, ranked No. 134 in the world, took down No. 12 Belinda Bencic in three sets. The 20-year-old was overjoyed, and cried after winning the biggest match of her young career.

  • Sloane Stephens, unseeded going into Roland Garros and currently ranked No. 30 in the world, defeated the No. 16 seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets. Pliskova won zero games in the first set, and though she put up a fight in the second set, Stephens was too much for her.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand against Aleksander Kovacevic of USA during their First Round Match on Day Two of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand against American Aleksander Kovacevic during their first round of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Other results

  • Novak Djokovic cruised to a relatively easy 6-6, 6-2, 7-6(1) win over American Aleksandar Kovacevic.

  • Cam Norrie survived a serious challenge from Benoit Paire, winning 7-5, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 over three hours and 33 minutes.

  • Diego Schwartzman needed the full five sets to take down No. 32 Bernabe Zapata Miralles, and had to win the final three sets to do it, but he got it done and is on to Round 2.

  • Elina Svitolina, unranked and playing in her first Grand Slam since the birth of her child in October, absolutely demolished No. 26 Madison Trevisan 6-2, 6-2. Svitolina was sharp and aggressive, which is what helped her win the Internationaux de Strasbourg on May 27, her first title since becoming a mom.

Highlight of the day

Alcaraz is a human highlight reel on any surface, but on clay, he'll absolutely take your breath away. Here's him essentially going around the net to send a shot back toward Cobolli.

Later in the match, he returned a tough shot in a way that seemed mathematically impossible. How did he find that angle?!

What to watch on Day 3

The French Open is the only Grand Slam to spread the incredibly busy first round over three days instead of just two, so Tuesday is when we'll see the final matches of Round 1 played out. And there are some big names.

  • No. 1 Iga Swiatek vs. Cristina Busca

  • No. 2 Daniil Medvedev vs. Thiago Seyboth Wild

  • No. 4 Casper Ruud vs. Elias Ymer

  • No. 4 Elena Rybakina vs. Brenda Fruhvirtova

  • No. 6 Coco Gauff vs. Rebekah Masarova

  • No. 6 Holger Rune vs. Christopher Eubanks

  • No. 7 Ons Jabeur vs. Lucia Bronzetti

There are a handful of Americans who still have to play their Round 1 matches on Tuesday, including one of the best Americans on the women's tour.

  • No. 6 Coco Gauff vs. Rebeka Masarova

  • No. 9 Taylor Fritz vs. Martin Mmoh (American vs. American)

  • No. 16 Tommy Paul vs. Dominic Stricker

  • No. 32 Shelby Rogers vs. Petra Martic

  • Christopher Eubanks vs. No. 6 Holger Rune

  • Emma Navarro vs. Erika Andreeva