Carlos Alcaraz made a good start as he hopes to improve on his poor record in the Australian Open by beating French veteran Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in his first round match.

Seeded No. 2, the Spaniard’s best result in Melbourne was a third-round exit in 2022.

He missed the 2023 edition due to injury.

Alcaraz has reached at the least the semis in all the other three majors.

Gasquet, making his 17th appearance at the Australian Open, matched Alcaraz all the way to a tie break first set, losing it 5-7 but was unable to match the standard set by his opponent 17 years his junior, winning only three games in the next two sets.

Alcaraz said afterwards “It’s always great to play here in Australia. This is my third time that I played here,”

“I didn’t have a good run the years that I played here but I enjoy it a lot,” the 20-year-old added.

“I missed last year and today I felt really well, playing here.

“I think I enjoyed playing in front of all of you and trying to be better.

“In the first set I struggled a little bit with his game and Richard is playing great as well

“But every set I’ve been playing better and better in the end I think I played quite a good level.”

Alcaraz will next face Italian Lorenzo Sonego who came back from losing the first set and being  2-5 down in the second set tie break  to beat Brit Dan Evans 4-6 7-6 (8) 6-2 7-6 (4).

Main photo:-Carlos Alcaraz celebrates as he beats Richard Gasquet