At about the same time as eight-time champion Roger Federer was receiving a rapturous reception as a Royal Box guest across on Centre Court, Alcaraz showed why he is billed as the future of men’s tennis.
Under the roof, the 20-year-old Alcaraz subjected Chardy to a high-profile pummelling, firing down ferocious serves and rasping forehands with frightening power.
US Open champion Alcaraz, who returned to the top of the ATP rankings after winning the Queen’s Club title on grass last week, blasted through the opening set in 20 minutes.
When he won the first two games of the second set it began to look really ugly for the 36-year-old Chardy whose 56th and final Grand Slam tournament was turning into a horror show.
Chardy, the former world No. 25 who once beat Federer, finally got on the scoreboard with a service hold greeted by warm applause.
He turned the match into a contest in the third set as the rifle-shot sound of Alcaraz’s ball-striking was temporarily muffled by rain hammering on the translucent roof.
Alcaraz trailed 4-2 after a sloppy service game but he was not in the mood for retirement gifts and buckled down again to finish off his opponent in a shade under two hours, sealing victory with an ace.
Carlos Alcaraz takes care of business in Wimbledon opener