Wimbledon 2024: Carlos Alcaraz races into Round 3; Medvedev and Tiafoe advance, Fognini sends Ruud packing

London, July 3 (IANS) French Open winner Carlos Alcaraz extended his winning streak at Wimbledon to nine matches on Wednesday when he recovered from an early dip to record a straight-sets victory against Australian Aleksandar Vukic. Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexandre Muller in four sets while 16th seed Ugo Humbert of France defeated Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in straight sets. Italian veteran Fabio Fognini stunned eighth seed Casper Ruud in four sets.
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Wimbledon 2024: Carlos Alcaraz races into Round 3; Medvedev and Tiafoe advance, Fognini sends Ruud packing

London, July 3 (IANS) French Open winner Carlos Alcaraz extended his winning streak at Wimbledon to nine matches on Wednesday when he recovered from an early dip to record a straight-sets victory against Australian Aleksandar Vukic. Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexandre Muller in four sets while 16th seed Ugo Humbert of France defeated Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in straight sets. Italian veteran Fabio Fognini stunned eighth seed Casper Ruud in four sets.

Leading 5-2 in the first set, Alcaraz briefly lost his way to trail 5-6. However, with the pressure on, the third seed quickly broke back to force a tie-break and from there it was one-way traffic, with the Spaniard advancing 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2.

In 2020, World No. 69 Vukic defeated a then-17-year-old Alcaraz in qualifying at Roland Garros. Nearly four years on, the task at hand was much harder for the Australian on the lawns of Wimbledon, where Alcaraz is the defending champion. The 21-year-old is now a three-time major titlist and played like one for large periods of his one-hour, 48-minute, second-round win against Vukic. Alcaraz used his feathered drop shot to great effect to cause the Australian to scramble around the court, while he struck his forehand fiercely to overpower Vukic in the baseline exchanges under the roof on No. 1 Court.

Alcaraz, who scored 40 winners in his victory, is in the third round at Wimbledon for the third consecutive year. The former Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF champion will continue the quest for his third trophy of the season when he meets Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

The American, who lost to Alcaraz in five sets in the US Open semi-finals in 2022, downed Croatian Borna Coric 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-3 to earn consecutive wins at a tour-level event for just the third time this season.

In another second-round clash, Medvedev rallied from a set and a breakdown against Alexandre Muller on Wednesday inside the All England Club’s main arena. After saving two set points to avoid falling to a two-set deficit, the fifth seed dug deep for a 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 second-round triumph.

Muller had seriously threatened to serve up a disappointing experience for Medvedev on the Centre Court grass. The No.102 in the ATP Rankings clinched the opening set in a tie-break before racing to a 3-0 lead in the second. Even after Medvedev reclaimed the Frenchman’s early break, Muller had set points at both 5-4 and 6-5.

Ultimately, however, Medvedev’s consistency from the baseline and booming serve proved crucial for his three-hour, 28-minute win in his maiden ATP head-to-head clash with Muller. He sent down 14 aces and converted four of 12 break points he earned en route to his 30th tour-level win of the year.

In other results, Humbert defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets, 7-6(9), 6-1, 6-3, getting into dominant mode after surviving a tough fight in the opening set. American Tiafoe was also taken to the tiebreak in the first set before overcoming Borna Coric of Croatia 7-6(5), 6-1. 6-3.

Fabio Fognini caused a big upset when he overcame Ruud 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-3, causing a bit of drama on a rain-marred day.

Conceding 86 ranking spots and 12 years to the world No.8, it did not look to be a fair matchup. But Fognini capitalised five out of eight breakpoints and struck 59 winners as compared to 46 by Ruud, who made 47 unforced errors as the Italian reached the third round.

--IANS

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