Carlos Alcaraz was defeated in the third round at the Italian Open by Hungarian Fabian Marzan on Monday, just two weeks before he entered the French Open as the top seed.
The 20-year-old Spaniard, who will replace world number one Novak Djokovic on May 22, came to the tournament in Rome following his tournament victories. Barcelona and Madrid.
But the US Open champion was overtaken by 23-year-old Maruzan, losing 6-3 7-6 (7/4).
Marozán, ranked 135 in the world, won the final six points of the second set tiebreak to give Alcaraz a wake-up call as the French Open kicks off in less than two weeks.
Alcaraz, seeded second in Rome but in Paris will be the top seed in a Grand Slam for the first time, said he needed some constant training to boost his preparations for the French Open as the clay court grand slam kicks off on May 28.
“I’ll rest a little,” he said, “a few days off for me.” “I really need some days to reset my mind and be fresh with Roland Garros.
“If I want to go to Paris in good shape, I have to train, to be better. I played so much that I couldn’t train more than three or four days in a row.
“It would really help if I had days at home to train and get ready to go to Roland Garros.”
He admitted that he was outmatched by his Hungarian opponent.
“He surprised me a lot, his level was really high. I’m sure he’s going to crack the top 100 very soon.”
Maruzan, who would later play Borna Coric for a place in the quarter-finals, had not won an ATP tour match prior to the tournament – in fact this was the first time he had qualified for the main draw of a tournament on tour.
“Everything was fine today, I was doing my job,” said the winner. “I can’t imagine this winning, even if it was my dream last night.
“I thought I might win a few matches or a set.”
Maruzan hit 24 winners in a three-quarter hour victory.
“I was hoping to do something special,” he said. “Now I’ve just beaten the best player in the sport so I’m very happy.”
Alcaraz now stands 30-3 for the season.
In other results at the WTA tournament, sixth seed Andrei Rublev defeated Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (10/8), 6-3.