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Defending Champion Carlos Alcaraz

Defending Champion Carlos Alcaraz and Top Seed Jannik Sinner Advance to Wimbledon Third Round; Casper Ruud Eliminated

London, July 03, 2024, The Europe Today: Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and top seed Jannik Sinner navigated contrasting paths to reach the third round of Wimbledon, while eighth seed Casper Ruud succumbed to an early exit on a cloudy Wednesday.

Alcaraz faced a potential setback in his match against Australian Aleksandar Vukic, nearly losing the first set. However, the third seed found his rhythm and secured a decisive 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2 victory, displaying glimpses of his form from last year’s title run.

“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,” Alcaraz commented, reflecting on his performance. “I’m feeling that I’m playing great tennis. Physically, I’m feeling great. Hopefully I’ll keep going.”

Jannik Sinner endured a tougher challenge against fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini. Despite surrendering the third set tamely, Sinner battled to a 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(4) win, concluding the match shortly before the 11 p.m. curfew.

“For me, it’s a big honor 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,” Sinner said.

Daniil Medvedev started the day’s matches on Centre Court, appearing out of sorts and even losing track of the score at one point during his clash with 102nd-ranked Alexandre Muller. However, the fifth-seeded Russian ultimately prevailed 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5.

Second seed Coco Gauff also faced challenges under the roof on Court One but managed to minimize errors and secure a 6-2, 6-1 win over Romanian qualifier Anca Todoni. Despite the victory, Gauff acknowledged the need for cleaner wins.

“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,” said Gauff, who will next face Sonay Kartal following Kartal’s 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory over France’s Clara Burel. “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 showcased her prowess with a commanding 6-1, 6-2 win over Elise Mertens. In contrast, fellow former U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka was defeated 6-4, 6-1 by American 19th seed Emma Navarro. Raducanu will also participate in mixed doubles this year, having received a wildcard along with fellow British major singles champion Andy Murray.

Rain caused a delay in the start of play on the outer courts for over two hours in the morning. Once play resumed, Casper Ruud, a three-time Grand Slam runner-up, became an early casualty. He was defeated 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-3 by Italian Fabio Fognini.

“I’m disappointed that I lost but I know my abilities on this surface and I’m trying to be realistic,” said Ruud, whose strongest performances have been on clay and hard courts. “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 overcame a tight first set to defeat Greet Minnen 7-6(5), 6-2, continuing the Italian contingent’s strong performance at the tournament.