By Shrivathsa Sridhar

Third seed Carlos Alcaraz made a winning start in his bid to claim a first French Open title when he beat American J.J. Wolf 6-1 6-2 6-1 without any issues on his troublesome arm on Sunday.

Last year’s semi-finalist arrived at Roland Garros with only four matches under his belt on clay due to a right forearm problem that forced him to skip Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, with his Madrid title defence also derailed by the problem.

Having admitted he still had lingering worries and sporting a compression sleeve, the 21-year-old Spaniard drew a few gasps from the crowd on Philippe Chatrier court when he dropped serve in the first game of the contest but he responded instantly.

Wolf, a lucky loser from the qualifying tournament making his second appearance in the Paris main draw, struggled to keep up with his opponent thereafter and the 25-year-old was broken three times in a one-sided opening set.

Under grey skies, Alcaraz quickly doubled his advantage in the contest and then raced ahead 3-0 under the roof in the third set, after rain began falling, before closing out the match when Wolf sent a shot long.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti

Meanwhile in the women’s event, four-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka laboured past unseeded Italian Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 4-6 7-5 in the first round of the French Open on Sunday to claim her first win at Roland Garros in three years.

Returning from a 15-month maternity break this year, Osaka had fallen in the first round at the Australian Open in January but looked set to breeze into the second round in Paris as the former world number one bombarded Bronzetti from the baseline.

She dominated the first set on a gusty Philippe Chatrier court to wrap it up in 28 minutes but her unforced errors rose steeply in the second, allowing Bronzetti to break in the crucial game at 5-4 and force a decider.

However, the 26-year-old Japanese player got back on track in the deciding set and had the opportunity to break for a 5-0 lead but appeared to implode as world number 67 Bronzetti clawed her way back into the contest.

Osaka pounced for a crucial break in the 11th game before finally clinching the back-and-forth battle