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Wimbledon 2024: Defending champ Alcaraz opens campaign in style; Medvedev, Dimitrov, Wawrinka too advance

Wimbledon 2024: Defending champ Alcaraz opens campaign in style; Medvedev, Dimitrov, Wawrinka too advance

London, July 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz of Spain faced a few tough moments as he was pushed by Estonian qualifier Mark Lajal on Monday but found a way through in straight sets to ensure his title Wimbledon defence started in perfect fashion at The Championships 2024. The 21-year-old withstood a free-hitting, aggressive performance from Lajal to record a 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-2 victory at the grass-court major.

Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland too won their first-round matches and advanced to the next stage.


Opening play on Centre Court as the defending champion, Alcaraz looked comfortable for large periods in an environment in which he holds fond memories. The Spaniard toppled Novak Djokovic in five sets in the championship match last year to win his first Wimbledon title and looked in relaxed spirits when walking onto the court for his first ATP head-to-head meeting with Lajal.

In a two-hour, 22-minute battle, Alcaraz used his feathered drop shot to great effect, while he treated the packed crowd to several explosive groundstrokes to set a second-round meeting with Mallorca finalist Sebastian Ofner or Australian Aleksandar Vukic.

The No. 3 in the ATP Rankings became the youngest player in history to win a major on all three surfaces when he triumphed at Roland Garros last month. Alcaraz then won his opening grass-court match of the year against Francisco Cerundolo at Queen’s before British No. 1 Jack Draper upset him in the second round.

The Spaniard put any grass-court doubts to bed against Lajal, though, hitting 43 winners to extend his perfect record to 7-0 against qualifiers at majors.

Lajal is No. 269 in the ATP Rankings but produced an impressive display on his Grand Slam debut. The 21-year-old, who admitted he started screaming after hearing he drew Alcaraz in the first round, was just the fifth man from Estonia to play at Wimbledon.

Alcaraz would play Borna Coric or Frances Tiafoe in the third round if he advances to round two. Croatian Coric beat Brazilian qualifier Felipe Meligeni Alves 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3, while Tiafoe earned a thrilling 6-7(5), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 comeback win against Matteo Arnaldi. It is the first time the American has rallied from two sets down in his career.

Medvedev romps through

Medvedev was through to the second round in under two hours as he won on his favourite Court No.1, sweeping past Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

The 20-time tour-level champion Medvedev is now 6-0 in first-round matches at Wimbledon, but it was his other perfect SW19 record he was more eager to discuss in his post-match interview.

The No. 5 in the ATP Rankings will next take on Alexandre Muller, a 6-4, 7-6(2), 7-6(5) winner against qualifier Hugo Gaston. He will hope to handle any tough moments as calmly as he did against Kovacevic — Medvedev crucially converted the only break point of the second set to assume control of the pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head clash.

Should Medvedev reach the third round, he would face 32nd seed Zhang Zhizhen or Jan-Lennard Struff. Zhang defeated French qualifier Maxime Janvier 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2 in his opening match, while Struff downed Fabian Marozsan 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3.

The 10th seed, Dimitrov overcame Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 45 minutes while Wawrinka, who had the best result of reaching the quarterfinals here, defeated Charles Broom of Great Britain 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in one hour 50 minutes.

Source: IANS

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Wimbledon 2024: Defending champ Alcaraz opens campaign in style; Medvedev, Dimitrov, Wawrinka too advance

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