Alcaraz defeats a hangman and steps up a gear at Wimbledon

The Spaniard faces Tiafoe in the third round

July 03, 2024

Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

Carlos Alcaraz competes against Aleksandar Vukic in the second round of Wimbledon.
By ATPTour.com/es Staff

Carlos Alcaraz is the most sought-after figure on the grass of Wimbledon and Wednesday’s performance was a perfect example. Leaving behind the ancient Centre Court, the Spaniard unleashed his strokes on a packed Court No. 1, where he scored his second victory in a tournament where he defends his throne. With his white shirt on and his strokes increasing, the Murcian kept his touch on the surface on the way to an immense objective: to seek his second consecutive trophy and consolidate a new era in the cathedral of tennis.

The No. 3 in the PIF ATP Rankings was put to the test on grass, beating Aleksandar Vukic, a rival on the rise, 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2. After reaching the semi-finals in Eastbourne a week ago, the Australian charged up his body in his debut at Wimbledon with an epic five-set victory over Austrian Sebastian Ofner – recent runner-up on the grass of Mallorca. A momentum that he managed to sustain in a firm start to the match in London.

Vukic had the opportunity to step onto the court with a privilege in mind: having beaten Alcaraz in a Grand Slam tournament. In the 2020 season, with the Murcian still immersed in the qualifying draws, the Australian managed to defeat him in the qualifying phase of Roland Garros. At 17 years old, ranked No. 193 in the world and with the stands deserted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality was very different for Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil. A few years later, the picture has changed completely.

After overcoming a tight first round, where he came back from a break in the first two sets, the Murcian was once again immersed in a game of curves. Alcaraz needed to go through a tiebreak despite serving to close out the first set, finding his rhythm in the last two sets where he took full control of the situation. Carlos put in his best performance of the tournament since he took the lead on the scoreboard, completing the second and third sets without facing a single break point.

With the first two rounds already behind him, the tournament introduces Alcaraz to a new phase of demand: direct clashes with the top seeds. The reigning champion will play the third round against the No. 29 seed Frances Tiafoe, an old acquaintance, whom he already defeated on the way to his first Grand Slam title in the semifinals of the 2022 US Open. Now, with the grass as the judge, the need to exchange blows against a hardened talent.

Alcaraz maintains a close record (1-1) Lexus ATP Head2Head against the American, capable of surprising him in their first direct clash on the clay of Barcelona in 2021, the prelude to his rise to the world’s top rank. With the memory of the intense five-set clash in Flushing Meadows, a Grand Slam stage once again brings together two of the most cheerful figures in the locker room.

Wednesday’s breakthrough brought Alcaraz one step closer to his date with history. On the grass of Wimbledon, the Spaniard is seeking his fourth Grand Slam title before turning 22, a feat only achieved by the German Boris Becker and the Swedes Björn Borg and Mats Wilander, masters of precocity in the 70s and 80s. In the most traditional tournament in the world, a feat worthy of another era.

Did you know…?
At 21 years old, Carlos Alcaraz faces one of the most difficult feats in men’s professional tennis: defending his first Wimbledon title. In fact, Swiss Roger Federer, the all-time champion at The Championships, is the only man to have achieved this feat on the grass of the All England Club in the 21st century (2003-04).

Source: https://www.atptour.com/es/news/wimbledon-2024-miercoles-alcaraz-vukic

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