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Alcaraz, Tsitsipas pushed but into Paris last-32

Carlos Alcaraz has made it into the French Open third round but only after a mid-match stutter that suggests he's still far from his sharpest after his recent forearm injury.

The Wimbledon champion dropped the third set against Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong before prevailing 6-3 6-4 2-6 6-2 in Wednesday's clash at Roland Garros, one of the few on the covered showcourts that managed to get completed during a near-washout of the Paris programme.

But the tournament favourite was not the only serious men's contender to endure an uncomfortable day as Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted he had had to "fight against myself" before also winning in four sets, 6-3 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-4, against German Daniel Altmaier.

Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas had a tough match before eventually booking a third-round spot. (AP PHOTO)

Under the Court Philippe Chatrier roof as the rain drizzled down incessantly outside, the 176th-ranked de Jong took advantage of a slump in form by the Spaniard in the third set to start making life uncomfortable for the youngster.

Alcaraz had problems early in the fourth set too as the first four games all went against serve, with the 21-year-old's usual sunny demeanour replaced by signs of frustration.

But breaking de Jong in the sixth game enabled Alcaraz to regain control and finally get over the line, doubtless much to the relief of the organisers who now see him as the star attraction in the absence of the defeated Rafael Nadal.

"I said many times every player can make you in trouble and you have to be focused on every point, in every round, it doesn't matter about rankings," the two-time slam champ told the crowd.

"It's good for me to get some rhythm but I prefer to spend some less hours on court."

Alcaraz arrived in Paris without a tournament under his belt since losing in the Madrid quarter-finals a month ago, having struggled with the muscular problem in his forearm.

And though he had demolished American JJ Wolf in the opening round, this test from de Jong, who broke Alcaraz in the very first game to signal his intent, showed he's not at his thrilling best as he next faces either American 27th seed Sebastian Korda or South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo.

World No.2 and Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner made light work of French veteran Richard Gasquet, who at 37 is heading into the twilight of his career.

Italian Sinner prevailed 6-4 6-2 6-4 to book a third-round meeting with Russian Pavel Kotov, who beat former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-5).

Earlier under Court Suzanne Lenglen's new roof, Tsitsipas was given a testing work-out by the dangerous Altmaier, who knocked Sinner out from last year's tournament.

Still seen as probably the best modern-day player not to have won a grand slam, Tsitsipas is determined to pull himself out of that particular argument this year following an impressive clay-court season.

But the Greek, finalist at Roland Garros in 2021, blamed himself for a lapse in concentration in the third set, saying he had been forced to fight against his emotions and adding, like some wise Greek philosopher, "the biggest war you have is with yourself."

"You have to figure that out and get it out of the way. I was down in the score. I didn't give up. I've had plenty of comebacks in the past and I've learned from those," he added.

Tsitsipas, who's become a bit of a nemesis for Alex de Minaur, having beaten the  Australian 11-1, will next face either Italy's Lorenzo Sonego or Zhang Zhizhen, of China.