Daniil Medvedev delivered the knockout blow on Chris Eubanks’ remarkable Wimbledon run by booking a semi-final spot with a thrilling five-set win.

World number 43 Eubanks looked set to once again punch above his weight in south-west London after leading the 2021 US Open champion 2-1 going into a fourth-set tie-break.

But third seed Medvedev battled back to win 6-4 1-6 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-1 under the Court One roof.

The Russian, who smashed 28 aces across a match lasting almost three hours, progressed to the last four at the Championships for the first time.

The defeated Eubanks arrived at SW19 with just two grand slam wins to his name and a dislike of playing on grass despite winning a title on the surface in Mallorca in June.

Shock victories over British number one Cameron Norrie and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas helped turn the surface into his “best friend” but he was quickly on the ropes on Wednesday after successive double faults gifted Medvedev an early break which ultimately decided the opening set.

Big serves and booming baseline exchanges interspersed with finesse at the net were the order of the day.

Backed by the majority of a captivated capacity crowd, including compatriot Coco Gauff, the charismatic Eubanks swiftly responded.

He raised the roof by clinching a couple of crucial breaks en route to a 29-minute second-set demolition before seizing the initiative with a third on the bounce at the start of set three.

Medvedev appeared stunned by the swift reversal in fortunes and, eager to bring some spectators on side, had raised his hands to ears following a sublime backhand winner.

Yet the 27-year-old became the pantomime villain after receiving a warning for hitting a dead ball towards courtside photographers and then continuing to dispute the decision of the umpire.

Eubanks followed up the minor quarrel with a majestic forehand winner and maintained the momentum to go 2-1 up, prompting chants of ‘USA, USA’ from the stands.

But Medvedev has never lost on this court and was not about to roll over.

The world number three, whose overall record at the All England Club is relatively uninspiring, was almost flawless throughout the fourth set, albeit unable to capitalise on a pair of break points as proceedings raced towards a tie-break.

Having gradually become the better player, classy Medvedev dug in to deservedly take the contest the distance.

The enthusiastic Eubanks appeared slightly deflated at being hauled back from the cusp of victory and a poor final set in which he failed to hold serve on three occasions and squandered two break points proved fatal.

Aryna Sabalenka knows just what to expect from Ons Jabeur in Thursday’s Wimbledon semi-final after she endured some gruelling pre-tournament practice sessions with the Tunisian.

The Belarusian, who was banned from last year’s tournament, is making up for lost time and booked her second last-four appearance in SW19 with a demolition of Madison Keys, winning Wednesday’s quarter-final 6-2 6-4.

Sabalenka is not surprised to see Jabeur on the other side of the net for the semi-final as she experienced first hand just how well she is playing in the build-up to the tournament.

“Actually we practised here before Wimbledon,” Sabalenka revealed. “I felt like she was going to do well here because she played unbelievable tennis on the practice court.

“I know it’s different in practice than in a match. She was able to bring this level to matches.

“It’s not like I didn’t expect that. Yeah, she’s a great player. We always had tough battles against each other, very close matches. I am really looking forward to this great battle.”

With Iga Swiatek being knocked out on Tuesday she will now have her sights on the Venus Rosewater dish to follow her Australian Open success at the start of the year.

Indeed, her eyes will have lit up when Swiatek was beaten by Elina Svitolina as it means she is now just one win away from ending the Pole’s 66-week reign as world number one.

Asked which she would value more, the Wimbledon title or to sit at the top of the rankings, the 25-year-old was willing to be greedy.

“To be honest, I want both,” she said. “But I’m trying to focus on myself because I know if I start thinking about all this stuff, I’m going to lose my focus on the court, my game.

“So I’m trying to focus on myself right now and make sure that every time I’m on the court I bring my best tennis.

“Then later on we’ll see if I’m ready to become world number one or if I’m ready to play another final.

“I remember myself, I don’t know, 14 or 15 years old going to my practice with the headphones listening to music and dreaming becoming one of the best players in the world, dreaming about lifting this beautiful trophiy.

“That’s something unbelievable. That’s something what really motivates me a lot, that I was able to become one of the best. I’m competing on the high level. So that’s something big for me.

“I’m going to do everything I can to lift this beautiful trophy.”

Fourteen-year-old Mika Stojsavljevic is among a trio of British juniors to make it through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Stojsavljevic, who is ranked 282nd and making her Wimbledon debut, followed up her second-round victory over fourth seed Lucciana Perez Alarcon by taking out Australian 13th seed Emerson Jones 6-1 7-5.

Joining the 14-year-old, who next meets Slovakian fifth seed Renata Jamrichova, in the last eight are 18-year-old Ranah Stoiber and 17-year-old Henry Searle.

Stoiber is in her final year of juniors and is bidding to reach a slam final for the first time having lost in the semi-finals of the Australian Open to breakout star Mirra Andreeva.

She defeated Italian Francesca Pace 6-3 6-4 and will next face Czech Nikola Bartunkova, who saw off Britain’s Mingge Xu 6-3 6-2.

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Klugman, who is widely considered the most exciting young British talent, lost 6-4 6-4 to Japan’s Sayaka Ishii.

Searle was the only British boy to reach the third round in singles and he matched his run to the French Open quarter-finals by defeating France’s Arthur Gea 6-4 6-2.

Searle, from Wolverhampton, took out top seed Juan Carlos Prado Angelo in the first round and will face eighth seed Joao Fonseca for a place in the last four.

It is the first time Britain has had three singles quarter-finalists in the juniors since 2010. The trio all train at the Lawn Tennis Association’s national academy in Loughborough.

Laura Robson is the last British player to win a junior singles title here back in 2008, while Liam Broady and Jack Draper have both lost in finals since then.

Neal Skupski has revealed his brother Ken’s holiday conundrum after making it through to the semi-finals of the men’s doubles at Wimbledon.

Ken, who retired last year, is now coaching his younger brother and has helped him and his partner Wesley Koolhof make it through to the last four in SW19 after a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win over Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek.

But after forgetting that the tournament started later this year, Ken booked a holiday to Ibiza for the end of this week, meaning he will miss the business end of the competition if he decides to go.

Neal says the final decision may rest with Ken’s wife, but would be fine for his brother to jet off to the Balearic Islands.

“Ken is in a bit of a conundrum because he is going on holiday tomorrow to Ibiza,” Neal revealed.

“Wimbledon went back a week and he didn’t check the dates before he booked it. He said he might have to stay, so we’ll see what he does.

“He wouldn’t be partying, I know Ken, he will be going with the three kids, so he will probably need a holiday for himself after that.

“It is up to him, he will be there no matter what on the end of the phone, it seems like he is wanting to stay and maybe fly out whenever this finishes.

“We haven’t spoken in depth about it. We have got a good team around us so if Ken does leave it won’t affect us too much. We’ll have a discussion about it and then he’ll have a discussion with his wife!”

Neal is chasing a Wimbledon hat-trick after his mixed doubles success in 2021 and 2022 and says if he could claim glory in the men’s doubles it would mean more.

“It is still a long way away, it would be an amazing achievement if I do go and do that, winning three in a row, but there is still a long, long way to go,” he said.

“I play men’s doubles week in, week out. That is the pinnacle of what I can achieve, to win Wimbledon. To win any event at Wimbledon is special but to win the men’s would be extra special. It is a long way away.”

Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden were denied a semi-final spot in the women’s doubles after being outclassed by third seeds Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter.


The wildcards have enjoyed a fine run at the All England Club and were the first all-British pair to reach the last eight of the draw for 40 years.

 

But their impressive progression was ended emphatically on Court Two as 2021 champion Mertens and her Australian partner Hunter eased through 6-2 6-1.

There was disappointment for Jamie Murray in the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles.

The Scot and New Zealander Michael Venus were defeated 6-4 6-3 by German 10th seeds Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz.

Ons Jabeur gained revenge with victory over defending champion Elena Rybakina in a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon final.

The sixth seed, who also lost to Iga Swiatek in the US Open final last year, will take on second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the last four after fighting from a set down to defeat Rybakina 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-1.

Jabeur missed a set point in the opening set but fought back impressively, hitting more winners and making fewer errors than her opponent, who has established a fledgling big three in the women’s game this season with Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek.

The Queen was among the interested watchers from the Royal Box as the pair took to Centre Court.

They had not faced each other since last year’s final, where Jabeur took the first set before Rybakina fought back to win in three.

While not giggling at umpire Kader Nouni’s deep voice, the crowd were again largely behind the likeable and flamboyant Jabeur, whose game and demeanour contrast so strikingly with stone-faced Rybakina.

It was the Kazakh who made the first move with a break to lead 3-1 but Jabeur hit back immediately, breaking back to love.

The hard, flat hitting and ferocious serve of Rybakina made it hard for Jabeur to bring her tricks into play too often but a lovely angled backhand pass put her 6-5 ahead.

Rybakina, who was beaten by Sabalenka in the Australian Open final, had not dropped serve since the first set of the tournament so to break twice in a set was a notable achievement for Jabeur.

However, the sixth seed was unable to serve out the set, seeing a set point go begging as Rybakina engineered a break back with a series of searing backhands.

Both players looked to be feeling the occasion but it was Rybakina who handled her nerves better in the tie-break, helped by her most potent weapon.

The Rybakina serve also got her out of a hole down 0-1 0-40 in the second set, Jabeur’s frustration obvious as the break points were snatched away.

But the defending champion was powerless to stop Jabeur when she applied pressure at 5-4, the Tunisian leaping to put away a simple volley before bouncing to her chair.

When a second successive break of serve followed to start the deciding set, the crowd began to sense the finish line.

Jabeur was playing better and better, coping brilliantly with the power of Rybakina and hitting plenty of her own winners, particularly down the line.

A second break of serve, clinched with a precision backhand, gave her the chance to claim victory, and a Rybakina forehand into the net sealed the deal.

Aryna Sabalenka’s pursuit of a first Wimbledon title remains on course after her demolition of Madison Keys in the quarter-final.

The Belarusian, who was banned from last year’s tournament, is making up for lost time and was too strong for Keys on Court One, winning 6-2 6-4.

With Iga Swiatek being knocked out on Tuesday she will now have her sights on the Venus Rosewater dish after booking a second semi-final appearance in SW19.

Her eyes will have lit up when Swiatek was beaten by Elina Svitolina as it means she is now just one win away from ending the Pole’s 66-week reign as world number one.

There is no one left in the tournament who can match her brute force from the back of the court and her big-match experience, having won the Australian Open in January, will stand her in good stead to win two more matches.

She said: “It feels really amazing to be back in the semi-final, I can’t wait to play my second semi-final at Wimbledon and hopefully I can do better than last time.

“It was a really tough game, I was so happy to win the second set, that game at 2-4 0-40 was just incredible.

“Since I was little I was dreaming about the Wimbledon title, it is something special, Wimbledon is different, it’s more special. It doesn’t matter who I am going to play, it is going to be a tough battle.”

When she found herself in trouble at 2-4 and 0-40 down in the second set, she reeled off 12 successive points to put herself back in control.

Keys, who won in Eastbourne in the week before the tournament began, was enjoying her best run here since 2015, but she was on the end of a barrage from Sabalenka and could have regrets about not taking her chances when they came, specifically that game to go 5-2 up in the second.

Sabalenka was on the attack from the start and broke Keys in the opening service game thanks to a sliced winner down the line.

A second break followed as Sabalenka was in total control, until Keys began to find her range and forced break points as her opponent tried to serve the first set out.

Sabalenka saved them to go in front and then put pressure on Keys’ serve earlier on as the American was forced to navigate some difficult deuce games.

She did so and then looked to have turned the tide, breaking at 3-2 with some power hitting of her own before going 40-0 up and within a point of 5-2.

But Sabalenka activated beast mode and won 12 consecutive points on her way to three successive games to put herself back in firm control.

She then served it out to seal a memorable win and move one step closer to her Wimbledon dream.

Marketa Vondrousova believes she will be facing ‘super woman’ when she takes on Elina Svitolina in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Ukrainian wild card Svitolina is inspiring new mothers across the world with her run to the last four, just nine months after giving birth to her daughter Skai.

“It’s incredible what she did. She received a wild card and she’s in semis. It’s incredible,” said Czech 24-year-old Vondrousova.

“I feel like it’s such a short time after a baby. She’s doing amazing things.

“Yeah, she’s a fighter and she’s playing so good. I think for us, we can see that we also can manage with a baby. It’s amazing.

“She also did great job in Paris. Now she’s doing these things. Yeah, I mean, for me it’s incredible she can do this with a baby, and after such a long time also.

“We chat a bit on Instagram. I’m with her all the way. She’s fighting so much for everything. Now she’s just playing amazing tennis also. She’s a super woman, I think.”

Vondrousova, the world number 42, pulled off a shock by beating fourth seed Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals.

Svitolina, currently ranked 76 but who has been as high as three, stunned world number one Iga Swiatek on Centre Court.

“It’s different right now,” said Svitolina, 28. “Right now I just say to myself I think it’s less years that I have in front than behind me. I have to go for it. I don’t have time to lose anymore. I don’t know how many years I will be playing more.

“So just I try to tell myself, like, go for it. You practice for these moments, for these big moments. This really helped me and calmed me a little bit, as well.”

Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden were denied a semi-final spot in the Wimbledon women’s doubles after being outclassed by third seeds Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter.

The wildcards have enjoyed a fine run at the All England Club and were the first all-British pair to reach the last eight of the draw for 40 years.

But their impressive progression was ended emphatically on Court Two as 2021 champion Mertens and her Australian partner Hunter eased through 6-2 6-1.

Bains and Lumsden on Monday hailed emulating the 1983 achievement of Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs as “surreal”.

The two 25-year-olds were on the backfoot from the start on Wednesday after a double fault from Leeds-born Bains gifted their rivals the opening game and she again failed to hold serve in game five.

Scottish player Lumsden, who previously feared her career may be ended by long Covid, showcased some classy shots and there was plenty of power from Bains, but it was not enough to prevent the more experienced duo wrapping up the opening set in 35 minutes.

Belgian Mertens – the former world number one doubles player – and Hunter received a third-round walkover after Czech opponent Marketa Vondrousova withdrew following her progression to the semi-finals of the singles, while their second-round match ended prematurely because of an opposition retirement.

After the British pair were each broken either side of being unable to capitalise on three break points, a few drops of rain at 6-2 3-0 threatened to impede further straightforward progression.

But play quickly resumed and the weather held as Bains and Lumsden ended a memorable run with defeat in an hour and 11 minutes.

The remaining singles quarter-finals are completed on Wednesday as Wimbledon continues to take shape.

World number one Carlos Alcaraz will again look to outline his title credentials against fellow youngster Holger Rune while there is a rematch of last year’s women’s final between Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at day 10.

Match of the Day


Fans on Centre Court will watch a match that is fit for a final as Elena Rybakina takes on Ons Jabeur.

 

It is a rematch of last year’s final which saw Rybakina claim her first grand slam title in a three-set win that left Jabeur heartbroken.

Both women are again looking the real deal having got to this stage without any trouble at all.

Jabeur says she has learned from last year’s final defeat and she is gunning for revenge.

King Carlos to reign?


Questions were asked of Carlos Alcaraz’s ability on the grass ahead of this Wimbledon campaign but he has resoundingly answered them.

 

During his first four matches he has proved he is very much at home here and is a real contender to win the title.

Standing in the way of a first Wimbledon semi-final appearance is Holger Rune in a clash of the new kids on the block.

At 20, Rune is also a future star and is looking for a first grand slam semi-final, but has his work cut out.

British pair chasing more history


Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden became the first all-British pair to reach the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon women’s doubles in 40 years and now they have a last-four spot in their sights.

 

Not since Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs in 1983 have a home team got this far and Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens now stand in their way.

If they were to win on Court Two, they would equal Durie and Hobbs’ achievement, which is not a bad effort considering Lumsden thought her career would be over after a bout of long Covid.

Jonny O’Mara and Olivia Nicholls are flying the flag in the mixed doubles as they are through to the semi-finals, where they will face Lyudmyla Kichenok and Mate Pavic on Court Three.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupsi are also in action in the men’s doubles quarter-finals with their respective partners Michael Venus and Wesley Koolhof.

Order of play

Centre Court
Ons Jabeur v Elena Rybakina
Carlos Alcaraz v Holger Rune

Court One
Madison Keys v Aryna Sabalenka
Daniil Medvedev v Chris Eubanks

Weather

Warm with sunny intervals

Novak Djokovic had a message to the pretenders to his grand slam crown after beating Andrey Rublev to reach another Wimbledon semi-final – “It ain’t happening.”

The Serbian’s 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 victory on Centre Court sent him through to the last four at a major for the 46th time, equalling Roger Federer’s all time men’s record, and extended his winning run at Wimbledon to 33 matches.

Djokovic is now only two wins away from a 24th grand slam title and, although this performance was not quite perfect, it was another demonstration of what it will take to stop the 36-year-old lifting the trophy for an eighth time.

Asked how it felt to be the man always with a target on his back, Djokovic said: “I love it. Any tennis player wants to be in the position where everyone wants to win against you.

“Pressure is a privilege, as Billie Jean (King) said. It’s never going to go away. It awakens the most beautiful emotions in me and it motivates me beyond what I’ve ever dreamed of and inspires me to play my best tennis.

“I know they want to get a scalp, they want to win, but it ain’t happening.”

Rublev played a terrific match yet landed only a glancing blow on Djokovic, with the Russian now the first man in the open era to have lost his first eight slam quarter-finals.

He is one of the hardest hitters in the game, particularly off his forehand, while his intensity has made him a favourite of Djokovic’s five-year-old daughter Tara.

Rublev lost in straight sets to Djokovic at the same stage of the Australian Open and he knew the importance of hanging with the defending champion, which he did by saving three break points in the sixth game.

The pair were fighting fire with fire and Djokovic thrust his arm into the air after winning one particularly fierce exchange.

He dropped his level at the end of the opening set, though, and Rublev capitalised, clinching a break point to lead 5-4 and then serving it out.

It was the second set Djokovic had dropped in successive rounds after a wobble against Hubert Hurkacz but he responded in impressive fashion, racing into a 5-0 lead in the second set.

If Rublev struggles to get to sleep, it may well be because of the third set, where he certainly had his chances but could not take them.

Two break points came and went in the second game before Djokovic turned the dial to relentless in the fifth game and got the break.

Rublev did well to stay in it, saving more break points at 2-4, and it so nearly paid off with Djokovic serving at 5-4. Missing two set points seemed to set the second seed on edge and the game turned into a Wimbledon classic.

Djokovic saved one break point with a rare serve and volley only for Rublev to set up another in a brilliant net exchange.

Djokovic was wavering on second serve in particular but Rublev could not take advantage and, after saving three break points in total, he finally converted his fifth set point.

The Serbian gave a long look to his support camp before giving an extended clench of the fist towards the crowd, who had been strongly supporting his opponent – even against a Russian, Djokovic was still second favourite.

Playing here made Djokovic just the third player after Federer and Serena Williams to contest 400 slam singles matches, and he has won a remarkable 353 of them.

While Rublev continued to battle in the fourth set, another break of serve in the third game gave Djokovic the advantage and he pulled away to set up a semi-final clash with Jannik Sinner.

Rublev was left with mixed feelings, saying: “I think (it’s) my first quarter-final that I feel proud of myself. Then, of course, you wanted to win. I was doing everything to try to win this match.”

The 25-year-old was the first Russian player to make a statement against the invasion of Ukraine, writing ‘No war please’ on the camera lens after a match in Dubai last February.

He was hugely appreciative of the backing he received on his return to Wimbledon, saying: “I felt really great support during all these two weeks. To be from the country where I am, to have this support, it’s special.

“I feel sometimes I don’t deserve it or something like that. I’m really grateful for this.

“It’s not (feeling) guilty. It’s more just the situation is terrible. Of course, you don’t wish this to anyone.

“You want these terrible things to be able to finish as fast as possible for all the people in the world just to have a chance to have a good life.”

Novak Djokovic battled back to remain on course for a fifth successive Wimbledon men’s title on the day women’s world number one Iga Swiatek suffered a quarter-final exit.

Defending champion Djokovic swatted aside Andrey Rublev to set up a semi-final clash with Jannik Sinner, while Swiatek’s hopes were ended by the impressive Elina Svitolina.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how day nine at the All England Club unfolded.

No stopping Novak

Novak Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s record for the most men’s grand slam singles semi-final appearances by coming from a set down to defeat Andrey Rublev.

The Serbian’s 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 victory sent him through to the last four at a major for the 46th time and extended his winning run at Wimbledon to 33 matches.

Djokovic is now only two wins away from yet another grand slam title and, although his performance was not quite perfect, it was another demonstration of what it will take to stop the 36-year-old lifting the trophy for an eighth time.

Jannik Sinner will be the next man to try and do that after he booked the first grand slam semi-final of his career by beating Roman Safiullin 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-2.

Tweet of the daySvitolina sinks Swiatek

Elina Svitolina claimed the mother of all victories by knocking out top seed Iga Swiatek.

The unseeded Ukrainian, who only gave birth to her daughter Skai nine months ago, ousted Swiatek with a dramatic 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2 victory on Centre Court.

She has now beaten four grand slam singles champions – Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka and now Swiatek – to become the first wildcard into the last four of the women’s draw in SW19 since 2011.

it sets up a semi-final meeting with 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova, who earlier upset world number four Jessica Pegula.

Shot of the dayQuote of the dayPicture of the dayStat of the day

Wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett believes he has the “weapons, heart and mentality” to win Wimbledon and complete a clean sweep of grand slam singles titles.

The individual championship at the All England Club is the only notable gap on the glittering CV of the 25-year-old, who on Wednesday afternoon begins his campaign against Belgium’s Joachim Gerard.

Hewett feels his grass-court game is in the best shape ever and is confident it is only a matter of time until he lifts the elusive trophy.

“I don’t want to be overconfident but I don’t want to sell myself short,” he said.

“There’s a title to be won and I believe I’ve got the weapons, heart and mentality to be able to do that.

“It’s an absolute dream to become a champion here and obviously with it being the one that I haven’t won here it’s an even bigger dream.

“I will try and use that as motivation, channel it in a good way and whatever happens – whether it’s this year, next year, a few years – I back myself and believe I can do it.”

Hewett won the Australian Open in January to add to a trio of singles titles at both the US Open and the French Open.

 

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He suffered an agonising loss to Japanese top seed Shingo Kunieda, who has since retired, in last year’s SW19 final but thinks that disappointment has strengthened his resolve.

 

“I don’t know how many hours of tennis I had played that week, I probably had five, 10 per cent left in the tank,” he said.

“I played against an absolute legend of the sport who was also desperate and hungry to win his very first Wimbledon title.

“I pushed him all the way to the very end and it came down to a few points. It was a turning point for me in my career in how I deal with things on the court and my mentality.”

In addition to his individual achievements, Hewett has also lifted 17 grand slam doubles titles alongside long-term partner Gordon Reid.

Those triumphs include each of the majors and four Wimbledon successes.

Scotsman Reid, who begins against Argentinian Gustavo Fernandez in the singles and will again team up with Hewett in the doubles, feels wheelchair tennis is no longer a “secondary thought”.

“The more the people are aware of it, the spectators and also the organisers and the tournament directors here, they’re more active in pushing it,” said the 31-year-old, who won the Wimbledon singles title in 2016.

“I think they see the value in it now whereas before it was maybe we were just a secondary thought.

“It’s now, the ‘wheelchair game adds something to the event’ and that’s good for them and also good for us.

“It’s the best week of the year really for us. At the end of the day, sport is entertainment and if we can be entertaining the profile will rise.”

Carlos Alcaraz and Holgar Rune played doubles together as children, and on Wednesday they will meet in the youngest Wimbledon quarter-final of the open era.

World number one Alcaraz and sixth seed Rune teamed up at a tournament in France called Petits As when they were 14.

Six years on and the duo, now 20, will do battle on Centre Court for a place in the semi-finals.

“It’s great. It’s a good feeling. It shows that the young players are doing a great job. For me it’s cool. For him it’s also cool, I guess,” said Danish hot-shot Rune.

“To be able to play a quarter-final against a player that is the same age, at the top of the ranking, feels amazing. I’m really looking forward to that match. I even looked at it when I was in the first round.

“I couldn’t really afford to look at it because there were so many matches before this would eventually happen. Now we’re here so I’m really pumped and excited for it.”

Rune came through in four sets against Grigor Dimitrov while Spanish sensation Alcaraz passed his sternest test yet, beating former finalist Matteo Berrettini in four.

“Carlos had a big forehand also in juniors,” added Rune. “I think he’s the same, just so much better now. I think back then he was Carlos, and now he’s Carlos. He’s the same, just improved very, very a lot and very quickly.

“We played doubles one time in Petits As. Hopefully we can do it again, but now we’re going to battle against each other.

“It was good, because he’s amazing. Also, the more shots he could hit the better. We played good together. I think we made the semi-final.

“For sure I would like to play doubles with him again. I know he doesn’t play a lot of doubles, me too. But maybe one day we can have a chance to play.”

Elina Svitolina claimed the mother of all victories by knocking out world number one Iga Swiatek to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.

The unseeded Ukrainian, who only gave birth to her daughter Skai nine months ago, ousted top seed Swiatek with a dramatic 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2 victory on Centre Court.

Swiatek, just as she had in her previous match against Belinda Bencic, came from a set down to draw level and seemed to have snatched the momentum.

But with Jeremy Clarkson watching from the crowd, Svitolina found top gear just when she needed it to secure a famous victory.

“I don’t know what is happening right now, it’s really unbelievable,” Svitolina, also a semi-finalist here in 2019, said.

“I’m really, really happy that I got this chance to play here again. I was fighting, it was not easy. Iga is world number one and always fighting. It was an unbelievable match and I’m really happy I could win this one.”

Swiatek looked dialled in from the start this time, breaking the Svitolina serve in the opening game.

But as she served for the set, the 22-year-old from Warsaw gifted Svitolina a break back to love with an uncharacteristically sloppy game, topped off with a double-fault.

Swiatek was rattled and Svitolina began finding her range, punishing a second serve to bring up two set points and edging in front when Swiatek’s backhand floated long.

A slight delay as the roof was closed gave Swiatek a chance to regroup but a hold to love at the start of the second set meant Svitolina had won 10 of the previous 12 points.

However, nerves started to kick in when, at 40-0, Svitolina missed the simplest of volleys at the net and then double-faulted, allowing Swiatek to break.

Swiatek then got a dose of the jitters herself, a double-fault giving Svitolina two break points and a long forehand levelling the set at 3-3.

Svitolina dug out a second ace of the match to go 4-1 ahead in the tie-break but Swiatek reeled her back in with a couple of rasping forehands which clipped the line and an exquisite backhand winner.

But Svitolina came again, breaking the reigning French and US Open champion twice to lead 4-1 in the decider.

Two more aces made it 5-1 and despite some late resistance from the Pole Svitolina came through, covering her mouth with her hand in utter shock when Swiatek hit the net on match point.

Swiatek has been a huge supporter of the Ukrainian cause following the Russian invasion and wears a blue and yellow ribbon in her cap.

Svitolina, whose emotional win over Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the fourth round was one of the matches of the tournament, added: “Iga is not only a great champion but an unbelievable person.

“She was one of the first who really helped the Ukrainian people, she was a huge help. So for sure it’s not easy to play someone that you share a lot of good moments. Not easy for her either but I’m really proud I could win this one.”

Wildcards Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden hailed becoming the first all-British pair to reach the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon women’s doubles in 40 years as “surreal”.

The rookie duo added Slovakians Viktoria Hruncakova and Tereza Mihalikova to their impressive list of scalps thanks to a stirring 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-3 win.

Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs were the previous British team to reach the last eight of the tournament in south-west London, doing so in 1983 before being beaten by top seeds Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver in the semi-finals.

“I guess it puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? That’s something we didn’t know,” said Leeds-born Bains. “It feels surreal to be honest.

“We wanted to back up last year’s result of a first-round win. We wanted to go one better. But we’re just taking it one match at a time and can’t complain.”

Bains and Lumsden, both 25, led by a set and a break on Court 18 but were forced to dig deep after being taken to a decider having narrowly failed to overturn a four-point deficit in the second-set tie-break.

Victory over Hruncakova and Mihalikova in two hours and 36 minutes sets up a last-eight clash with the winners of Tuesday’s meeting between third seeds Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens and Czech duo Miriam Kolodziejova and Marketa Vondrousova.

The British pair’s fine run at the All England Club is even more impressive given Lumsden feared her professional playing career may be ended by long Covid.

“During it, I didn’t think I was going to get back playing sport,” the Scot said of coronavirus, which she contracted in October 2020.

“That was like a year where I couldn’t really do any exercise.

“I never really thought I would get back to playing professionally, so it’s obviously unbelievable that I have got back to it now and I’m very grateful that I can.”

Fellow Briton Neal Skupski also enjoyed progression in the doubles, alongside Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof.

The top seeds reached the third round of the men’s tournament thanks to a 7-6 (3) 6-2 success over Australians Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler.

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