Carlos Alcaraz Shows Grit To Overcome Tiafoe In 5-Set Wimbledon Clash

Carlos Alcaraz continued his Wimbledon title defense again today against Frances Tiafoe. Both players are friends off the court but as Alcaraz has rightly said before, he forgets that the moment they get on the court. 

I mean, I have a really good relationship with a lot of players… but once you step on the court, there’s no friends. You have to be on your own, focus on yourself, and try to beat him. That’s how tennis works.

Carlos Alcaraz will be chasing a second consecutive Grand Slam title, aiming to be the first non-Big Three player to do so. He will also be aiming to be the first non-Big Three player to successfully defend a Grand Slam title. 

Carlos Alcaraz Forced To Go The Distance 

Since Alexander Zverev in the French Open final, Carlos Alcaraz met the most tenacious opponent he’s played against in a Grand Slam match today in America’s Frances Tiafoe. The match was a rollercoaster encounter, one that would’ve excited neutral fans and kept partisan fans biting their nails throughout till Alcaraz overcame the American 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. 

Frances Tiafoe showed dominance at the net in moments of his Wimbledon third-round match against Carlos Alcaraz. There was a moment in the first set at 4-3 on serve with the American 40-15 up in the game where Carlos Alcaraz came to the net to save a game point, pulling out a clever dinked shot that drew Tiafoe from the baseline. 

The American responded well to pull Alcaraz out of position with a shot down the line and then finished off the point. After breaking Alcaraz’s serve a second time in the first set in the 10th game of the set, he went on to serve out the set to love. 

Carlos Alcaraz then responded well in the second set, breaking Tiafoe’s serve in the sixth game when the American fired a backhand into the net. Tiafoe was on the ropes again in the eighth game of the set with Alcaraz on break and set point. The American hit a clean shot down the line and followed it to the net but Alcaraz was there in time to fire a backhand shot across the court which whizzed past Tiafoe. 

The rollercoaster encounter continued in the third set with Tiafoe leading Alcaraz 15-40 in the seventh game. A rally between the two friends got exciting at the net. Tiafoe lobbed Alcaraz, forcing the Spaniard to try a tweener. The resulting attempt at a lob from Alcaraz went long to gift Tiafoe to break. A backhand shot from Carlos Alcaraz into the tramlines then sealed the set for Tiafoe in the 10th game. 

Alcaraz Makes It Into Wimbledon’s 4th Round

The fourth set was Carlos Alcaraz’s last opportunity to salvage his title defense. Excellent performances from both players dragged the set to a tiebreak. Although Alcaraz limited the American to scoring just two points in the tiebreak, the American’s quality still showed up in those two moments that gave him the two points. 

Carlos Alcaraz took a quick break of Tiafoe’s serve in the fifth and deciding set and consolidated it to lead 3-1. The Spaniard then pulled out the feather-like drop shot that has made him highly successful in his career to secure a double break and a 4-1 lead. Three games later and 40-0 up, the feather-like drop shot showed up again on match point to seal the win. The match lasted three hours and 51 minutes. 

This win is Carlos Alcaraz’s second win in three clashes with Tiafoe. The previous encounter was also a Grand Slam match almost two years ago in the semifinal of the US Open. Carlos Alcaraz now has a 12-1 record in Grand Slam matches that have lasted five sets. He will face Ugo Humbert in the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships

It is always a big challenge playing against Frances. He is a really talented player and tough to face and we saw it once again that he deserves to be at the top and deserves to fight for big things.

It was really difficult for me to adapt my game, find solutions, and try to get him in trouble, but I was really happy to do it at the end of the match. There were a lot of difficult moments in the fourth set. All I was thinking was ‘OK, fight one more ball’.

I was just thinking about the next ball and the tie-break I told myself I had to go for it. If I lose it, I lose it. I went for it all the time and it is good for me to get through once again.