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Champion Alcaraz Beats Tiafoe in Five-Set Thriller

Champion Alcaraz Beats Tiafoe in Five-Set Thriller

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz narrowly avoided a surprising exit at Wimbledon, overcoming American Frances Tiafoe in a gripping five-set match.

The Spaniard triumphed 5-7 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2, thrilling the Centre Court crowd.

Alcaraz’s victory keeps his hopes alive for consecutive major titles, having won the French Open last month.

“Playing against Frances is always a big challenge,” said Alcaraz, the third seed. “All I was thinking is ‘fight for one more ball’.”

Friday’s match lived up to the excitement of their previous encounter in the 2022 US Open semi-finals, where Alcaraz also won in five sets on his way to his first Grand Slam title.

World number one Jannik Sinner also advanced to the last 16 with a dominant 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over Miomir Kecmanovic. Alcaraz Survives Scare Against ‘Talented’ Tiafoe

Tiafoe, who was seeded 10th at Wimbledon last year, has dropped in the rankings and faced early exits at this year’s Australian Open and French Open.

Now ranked 29th, Tiafoe frustrated Alcaraz throughout the match and gained early crowd support after coming back from a break down to take the first set.

“He is a really talented player, really tough to face,” Alcaraz added. “He deserves to be at the top, he deserves to fight for big things.”

Alcaraz, who had not dropped a set at the Championships until this match, regained control in the second set, but a single break allowed Tiafoe to win the third.

The American encouraged the crowd’s support, especially during the fourth set tie-break. Sensing the crowd’s favor for his opponent, Alcaraz rallied with cries of “vamos” after key shots, ultimately forcing a decisive fifth set.

In the final set, Alcaraz broke Tiafoe’s serve twice and sealed his victory with a delicate drop shot, raising his arms in celebration.

He will face either American Brandon Nakashima or French 16th seed Ugo Humbert in the fourth round. Rain Disrupts Men’s Singles Schedule

Only four men’s singles matches were completed on Friday due to rain, including Alcaraz’s.

Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner benefited from the use of the show courts, securing his place in the fourth round with a quick win over Kecmanovic.

Sinner will next play either American 14th seed Ben Shelton or Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, whose match was halted by rain and will resume on Saturday.

Tommy Paul, the Queen’s champion, defeated Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-4 6-2 before the rain arrived.

Bulgarian 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov moved past Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-3 6-4 6-3 under the Court One roof.

Nakashima and Humbert’s match was suspended before the fourth set tie-break, and fifth seed Daniil Medvedev leads Jan-Lennard Struff by two sets to one.

Credit: BBC Sport

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