Alcaraz arrived in Melbourne without playing any kind of official preparation events, which was not the way he generally does things, but it didn't really matter. Richard Gasquet gave his best, but it was not nearly enough to beat him.
Lorenzo Sonego had a bit more success but overall still failed to really do much against the Spaniard. Shang stood no chance, and that was apparent pretty quickly.
By the time he retired from the match, Alcaraz was up 2-0, with the score in both sets being 6-1 6-1. He felt good on the court and confirmed after the match that he really liked what he showed on the court.
"Well, I'm feeling great. Probably 7, 8. It's a high note. But that's how I feel. I don't know. I think I'm improving every day. Every match that I'm playing, I'm feeling better and better. Moving, hitting the ball, and, of course, I'm getting used to this court as well."
There were some concerns about Alcaraz's approach to the preparation, but the fact that he's improving with every match makes them redundant. It's going exactly how he anticipated it would.
Another concern was the fact that he hadn't played much in Australia before, but he addressed that, too. According to the Spaniard, it's not a huge issue because, so far, it's going to be good. He thinks it will only get better.
"I didn't play so much in this court. I think everything is good. I taking good things from the court, from the level that I'm playing. Hopefully it's going to be better and better."
Up next for the Spanish player is Miomir Kecmanovic and that should be a decent challenge for the two-time Grand Slam champion, as the two met two years ago in Miami, and it was a real three-set thriller back then.