Wimbledon 2023: Carlos Alcaraz, Aryna Sabalenka Cruise Into Third Round | Tennis News
Carlos Alcaraz swept into the third round of Wimbledon on Friday, beating Frenchman Alexandre Muller 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3. The Spanish top seed, who reached the last 16 last year, is attempting to become the third-youngest player in the Open Era to win the title after Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg. The 20-year-old, seen as the greatest threat to defending champion Novak Djokovic, won his opening match against French veteran Jeremy Chardy on Tuesday. But heavy rain has played havoc with the schedule at the All England Club — Djokovic, in action later Friday against Stan Wawrinka, is a round ahead of his rival.
A single break was enough for Alcaraz to seal the first set and he won the second-set tie-break to take an iron grip on the contest.
He broke 84th-ranked Muller again in the eighth game of the third set and served out for the match.
The US Open champion won his first grass court title at Queen’s last month.
“I’m really, really happy to play here again and this time with a win on this really beautiful court,” he said. “I wanted to enjoy every single second and I think I did.”
Alcaraz said he was learning quickly on grass — he is playing in only his fourth tournament on the surface.
“I’m playing really, really well on grass. I’m not an experienced guy like other players but I’m enjoying playing on grass… getting better every match that I play.
“Playing here in Wimbledon is something special. You feel different compared to other tournaments.”
Aryna Sabalenka beats Varvara Gracheva
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka recovered from a set down to beat France’s Varvara Gracheva 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 and reach the last 32 at Wimbledon on Friday.
Russia-born Gracheva, who recently became a French citizen, broke the Belarusian three times in the first set to take control on No. 1 Court.
The second set was a much tighter affair, with serve dominating until Sabalenka pounced in the 11th game, creating three break points and capitalising on the second.
She served out for the set, levelling the match when Gracheva went long with a forehand.
Australian Open champion Sabalenka broke early in the decider to take a 2-1 lead and underlined the momentum shift by repeating the feat to stretch her lead to 5-2.
The 25-year-old sealed victory with an ace to set up a third-round clash against Russia’s Anna Blinkova.
Sabalenka reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2021, but was banned last year along with all Belarusian and Russian players due to the invasion of Ukraine.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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