June 23, 2024
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Wimbledon 2023: Carlos Alcaraz beats Nicolas Jarry to reach last 16

World number one Carlos Alcaraz held off a spirited challenge from 25th seed Nicolas Jarry to move into the last 16 – and match his best Wimbledon run.

The 20-year-old Spaniard won a four-set thriller 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5 on Centre Court in an absorbing third-round tie that took almost four hours.

Alcaraz will play 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini of Italy after he beat German 19th seed Alexander Zverev.

Elsewhere, third seed Daniil Medvedev defeated Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, playing for the fifth successive day after beating Andy Murray on Friday in a match that began on Thursday, beat Serbia’s Laslo Djere.

Tsitsipas won 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and will meet unseeded American Chris Eubanks, who won three tie-breaks to overcome Australia’s Chris O’Connell.

Berrettini beat Zverev 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5), despite a rain delay on Court One as they had to wait for the roof to be closed during the second set after it had been opened before the match started.

Alcaraz wins thriller in humid and sweaty indoor conditions

Carlos Alcaraz also reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2022, losing to Italy’s Jannik Sinner

Alcaraz broke Jarry’s serve in the seventh game to take the opening set, but lost the second on a tie-break.

The match began under the roof and tournament rules meant it had to stay closed despite the hot and sweaty conditions, with a number of spectators repeatedly using handheld fans in an attempt to keep cool.

Alcaraz instantly got back on track in the third set, producing some excellent passing shots and delicate drop shots as he broke in the fourth game to go two sets to one ahead.

But the fourth did not go entirely to plan as the big-serving Jarry led 3-0 and 4-2, although Alcaraz fought back to seal a memorable win against the 27-year-old.

Underarm serve failure costs Davidovich Fokina

The third-round tie between sixth seed Holger Rune of Denmark and Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina lasted a minute short of four hours and went five sets.

But Davidovich Fokina, 24, was left rueing a failed attempt at an underarm serve in what proved to be the penultimate point.

His underarm serve, at 8-8 in the fifth set match tie-break, was spotted by Rune and easily dispatched to give the Dane a match point, which he then converted.

Rune admitted his surprise at Davidovich Fokin’s underarm serve and said: “I wouldn’t do it, but every player has a different style.

“If he made it, it would have been the right shot, but yeah, I wouldn’t have done it – I would trust my serve.”

Rune will have to wait until Sunday to discover who he plays next as the match between Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and American Frances Tiafoe, seeded 21st and 10th respectively, was suspended in the third set with Dimitrov leading 6-2 6-3 1-2.

Third seed Medvedev is most comfortable on hard courts but said after the second round that, while not totally at home on the grass, he is “knocking on the door”.

He immediately struggled on serve against Fucsovics, a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist who is more dangerous than his world number 67 ranking implies.

His serve was exceptional in the first set, with Medvedev often standing back by the line judges to receive, and an early break was enough to help him clinch the opener 6-4.

However, Medvedev responded quickly, breaking Fucsovics to love on his way to levelling the match, before starting the third set with an immediate break of serve.

With Fucsovics battling a foot problem as the match slipped over the three-hour mark, Medvedev was able to serve out victory in clinical fashion, taking the fourth set 6-4 to reach the fourth round for just the second time.

Medvedev will face Jiri Lehecka in the last 16 after the Czech Republic player eliminated American 16th seed Tommy Paul, winning a five-set encounter that lasted four hours, four minutes.

Sports stars pack out Royal Box

Footballers Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, who helped England win the Women’s Euros last year, were among the sports stars in the Royal Box on Centre Court

As is tradition on the opening Saturday of Wimbledon, the Royal Box on Centre Court was packed with sporting stars past and present.

Former BBC presenter and French Open winner Sue Barker was there, as were ex-Wimbledon champions Stefan Edberg, Jan Kodes and Billie Jean King, along with 1968 finalist Judy Dalton and America’s five-time doubles champion Rosie Casals.

Elsewhere, four members of the Lionesses squad that won football’s Euro 2022 last year – Leah Williamson, Jill Scott, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead – were present, as well as former England captain Gary Lineker.

Horse racing legend AP McCoy, five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Steve Redgrave, England cricketer Sam Curran, Scottish athlete Eilish McColgan and gymnasts Joe Fraser and Jessica Gadirova were also in attendance.

Former jockey AP McCoy and five-time Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave were at Wimbledon on Saturday

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