• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sports

Alcaraz, Sinner advance to third round, Ruud knocked out

Alcaraz nearly lost the first set against Australian Aleksandar Vukic but recovered to win 7-6(5) 6-2 6-2.

Alcaraz showed glimpses of his form from last year when he won the title. (Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and top seed Jannik Sinner advanced to the third round of Wimbledon with contrasting victories, while eighth seed Casper Ruud was eliminated on a cloudy Wednesday.

Alcaraz nearly lost the first set against Australian Aleksandar Vukic but recovered to win 7-6(5) 6-2 6-2. He showed glimpses of his form from last year when he won the title.

“I’m feeling similar… Obviously, I’m getting better and better. Hopefully, if I keep winning, I’m going to find the same level as the final last year,” said Alcaraz.

“I’m feeling that I’m playing great tennis. Physically, I’m feeling great. Hopefully I’ll keep going.”

Sinner faced a tougher challenge against fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini, losing the third set before winning 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(4) just before the 11 pm curfew.

“For me, a big honour to play in such an incredible venue and today I had my first match on Centre Court which is special. The support has been amazing,” said Sinner.

Daniil Medvedev began the day on Centre Court and struggled, even losing track of the score at one point, but eventually defeated the 102-ranked Alexandre Muller 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 6-4 7-5.

Second seed Coco Gauff was not at her best on Court One but managed to defeat Romanian qualifier Anca Todoni 6-2 6-1.

Gauff acknowledged she needed to win more cleanly. “I do think I can be too critical… I think it’s just like moments, maybe I missed some shots that I normally would make,” she said.

Gauff will face Sonay Kartal next, after Kartal defeated France’s Clara Burel 6-3 5-7 6-3.

“That’s tennis, you’re always going to miss some shots that you normally would make. I’m trying to focus on straight sets and winning cleaner.”

Wild card Emma Raducanu defeated Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2, but Naomi Osaka was beaten 6-4 6-1 by American 19th seed Emma Navarro.

Raducanu will also participate in mixed doubles this year with a wildcard entry alongside fellow British major singles champion Andy Murray.

Rain delayed the start of play on the outer courts for over two hours. When play resumed, Ruud fell to Italian Fabio Fognini 6-4 7-5 6-7(1) 6-3.

“I’m disappointed that I lost but I know my abilities on this surface and I’m trying to be realistic,” said Ruud. “I just find it difficult.

I find it fun as a challenge and I try my best every year. I haven’t given up on it yet but it’s really difficult for me somehow, the movement and feeling confident out there.”

Italian and French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini defeated Greet Minnen 7-6(5) 6-2.

(With inputs from AFP)

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