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Jul 5, 2024 1:39 pm

Carlos Alcaraz tops Frances Tiafoe in 5-set Wimbledon battle

alcaraz wimbledon

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz clawed back from the brink of elimination at Wimbledon on Friday, defeating Frances Tiafoe 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to move to the fourth round.

A packed house that included Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was treated to a three-hour, 51-minute battle. No. 29 seed Tiafoe of the United States had victory in his grasp but couldn’t pull out the win against the Spaniard.

Tiafoe, looking for revenge after Alcaraz defeated him in five sets in the semifinals at the U.S. Open in 2022, played nearly flawlessly in the first four sets. But the third-seeded Alcaraz found another gear in the tiebreak, playing aggressive defense against Tiafoe and grabbing points on his opponent’s first two serves to race to a 3-0 lead.

He took the next two points for a commanding 5-0 lead, cruised through the tiebreaker, and kept the momentum to easily win the final set and advance..

With the win, Alcaraz moved to 12-1 in fifth sets at majors. He defeated Novak Djokovic, winner of 24 majors, last year to win Wimbledon.

Alcaraz said Tiafoe was a very tough foe on Friday.

“It is always a big challenge playing against Frances,” Alcaraz said. “He is a really talented player and tough to face, and we saw it once again that he deserves to be at the top and deserves to fight for big things. It was really difficult for me to adapt my game, find solutions and try to put him in trouble, but I am really happy to do it at the end of the match.

“There were a lot of difficult moments in the fourth set. All I was thinking was ‘OK, fight one more ball.’ I was just thinking about the next ball and the tiebreak. I told myself I had to go for it. If I lose it, I lose it. I went for it all the time and it is good for myself to get through once again.”

Alcaraz and Tiafoe had the advantage of playing under the roof at Centre Court in rainy London, where the bulk of early matches were suspended because of weather.

No. 10 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria defeated Gael Monfils of France 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 under the cover of Court 1, while No. 12 Tommy Paul ousted No. 23 Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to move to the fourth round before rain suspended play.

–Field Level Media

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