Carlos Alcaraz books Wimbledon semi-final spot after battle of childhood friends
Carlos Alcaraz beat childhood friend Holger Rune 7-6 6-4 6-4 on Wednesday to book his spot in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
Alcaraz and Rune were born less than a week apart and grew up on the tennis scene together as they became the first men aged under 21 in the Open Era to face each other in a Wimbledon quarter-final.
World No.1 Alcaraz headed into the clash as the heavy favourite against sixth-seed Rune and after securing a place in the last four he will now face third-seed Daniil Medvedev after the Russian defeated American star Christopher Eubanks.
Alcaraz arrived at Wimbledon with little experience on grass but won Queen’s Club in the build-up to the Championships and combined with his dominance on the ATP Tour, some have tipped him to go all the way in SW19 and land his second Grand Slam trophy.
The 2022 US Open champion was forced to save break point in the opening game of the match but no break points for either player followed in a tense first set, as Alcaraz squeezed past Rune with a tie-break 7-6 (7-3).
Both men started the second set strongly with some impressive serving before Alcaraz finally secured the crucial break – his first of the match – in game nine to lead 5-4, and he successfully served it out for 6-4 to open up a two-set lead.
Alcaraz looked keen to wrap up the victory in straight sets and in game five of the third he secured his second break of the match to edge in front.
He almost forced another break in game nine but the Spaniard got the job done while serving instead to take the third set 6-4 and seal his place in the last four.
Asked for his thoughts on reaching his first Wimbledon semi-final, Alcaraz said: ‘Honestly, this is amazing for me. It has been a dream since I started playing tennis. It’s such a beautiful, great tournament. For me, it is crazy.
‘It was tough. I was really nervous, even more so playing again Holger. Once you get onto the court, you are not friends, you have to be focused on yourself. I think I did great with that part.’
Source: Read Full Article