Another mid-match lapse
On Monday, the top seed raced out of the blocks with a hot-shot laden first set against Flavio Cobolli. In just 26 minutes the Spaniard was 6-0 up, and blazed through the first eight games.
"I felt I couldn't lose a game at the start of the match," he said. "I felt invincible."
However, the Italian qualifier grew into the match and made it extremely tricky for Alcaraz to close out.
Fast forward to Wednesday and the No.1 seed once again accelerated off the grid. Even the elements couldn’t stop him arrowing forehand winners and dinking in deft drop shots for fun, despite the swirling wind.
But with the first set in the bag, Alcaraz played a loose game, allowing Daniel to clinch a collection of net points to snatch away an immediate break. The Japanese maintained that advantage to level up.
In the second week with title rivals circling, Alcaraz won't want to surrender any sharp starts.