Carlos Alcaraz advances at Wimbledon; Norway's Casper Ruud out

League: Tennis

Posted on: 03 Jul, 2024 at 11:43 PM

Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz overcame an uneven first set to defeat Aleksandar Vukic of Australia 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-2 and advance to the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

The victory extended the Spaniard's winning streak on the grass courts of London to nine.

Failing to advance was No. 8 seed Casper Ruud of Norway, who was defeated by Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (1), 6-3. He became the second top-10 seed to fall, following a four-set loss by No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia to Francisco Comesana of Argentina on Tuesday.

Alcaraz, the third seed, was cruising with a 5-2 lead in the first set Wednesday before Vukic rattled off four straight wins to take a 6-5 lead. Serving for the set, Vukic managed to post only one point as Alcaraz broke his serve, then went on to win the first-set tiebreaker.

"I am really happy about my performance," Alcaraz said. "I think the first set was the key. He served for the set and I broke and after I played a really good tiebreak. I played a really high level in the second and third sets, so I am really happy about it."

Alcaraz, winner of three Grand Slams, needed 1 hour, 48 minutes to defeat the Australian. Alcaraz struck 11 aces among his 42 winners and had 15 unforced errors, compared to Vukic's 19 and 22, respectively.

Next up for Alcaraz will be Frances Tiafoe, the No. 29 seed, who defeated Borna Coric 7-6 (5), 6-1, 6-3 of Croatia. Alcaraz defeated the American in five sets in the semifinals at the U.S. Open in 2022.

"We played a brilliant match at the U.S. Open," Alcaraz said of Tiafoe. "I know he is a really talented player and it will be tough on here on grass. Good serve, good volley. It will be a difficult match for me but I am ready for that challenge."

Also moving into the third round was No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who rallied to oust Alexandre Muller of France 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5.

No. 16 seed Ugo Humbert of France and No. 21 Karen Khachanov of Russia also advanced to the third round, as did unseeded American Brandon Nakashima.

World No. 1 Jannik Sinner was in action later Wednesday, and he defeated fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (4) in a match lasting three hours and 42 minutes. Sinner prevailed despite having only 10 aces to Berrettini's 28. He also had fewer winners (65-32) and watched as Berrettini saved 8 of 10 break points.

Other seeded winners included No. 12 Tommy Paul of the United States and No. 23 Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. The Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor, the 27th seed, was the victim of an upset, falling to Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in five sets.

Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff also ousted a seeded foe, earning a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (8) win over China's Zhizhen Zhang, the No. 32 seed.

Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain also won on Wednesday, while French qualifier Quentin Halys swept American Christopher Eubanks in a first-round match.

--Field Level Media