Hubert Hurkacz was the highest-profile casualty on day four of the Wimbledon men's singles, with the seventh seed forced to retire injured during his clash with Arthur Fils.

The Pole beat Roger Federer on the way to reaching the semi-finals in 2021, while he was runner-up to new world number one Jannik Sinner in Halle last month.

However, when trailing by two sets to one against his French opponent, Hurkacz sustained a knee injury during the tie-break in the fourth.

Despite valiantly attempting to battle on, he aggravated the problem further soon after when diving for a return, and was subsequently unable to continue with Fils advancing to round three.

There, he will play Alex de Minaur after the ninth seed enjoyed a straight-sets victory over Jaume Munar.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev also prevailed in three sets as he continued his rich vein of form. The Italian Open champion, who was also runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz at Roland-Garros, was a commanding 6-1 6-2 6-4 winner over Marcos Giron. 

Next up for him is Cameron Norrie after the 2022 semi-finalist ousted compatriot Jack Draper in a battle of the Brits on No.1 Court.

Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz overcame Arthur Rinderknech in four sets, as did 15th seed Holger Rune against Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov recovered from two sets down to beat Juncheng Shang in a decider. The 2014 semi-finalist will now play Gael Monfils, who completed a straight-sets victory over fellow veteran Stan Wawrinka.

Although, there was no joy for 11th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. The two-time major finalist was beaten in four sets by world number 87 Emil Ruusuvuori.

Andrey Rublev suffered a shock early exit at Wimbledon on Tuesday as numerous other seeds progressed through to the second round.

Rublev, a 17-time ATP Tour champion, reached the quarter-finals at this tournament last year but failed to make it past his opener this time after Argentine Francisco Comesana upset the sixth seed.

Comesana triumphed 6-4 5-7 6-2 7-6 (7-5) on No.2 Court, where play was disrupted by heavy downpour, as Rublev became the highest-ranked male player to fall so far at the All England Club.

Unlike Rublev, fourth seed Alexander Zverev coasted past Roberto Carballes Baenai in straight sets on No. 1 Court.

"I want to compete, I want to do well here at Wimbledon. It's the most historic tennis tournament that we have," Zverev said after reaching the second round for the seventh time in eight attempts at this tournament.

"I've struggled over the years here on these beautiful courts, unfortunately, but I feel different this year."

Hubert Hurcakz progressed through his first challenge, though the seventh seed conceded the first set before defeating Radu Albot 5-7 6-4 6-3 6-4, smashing 24 aces in the process.

Alex de Minaur headed into this year's edition as the ninth favourite and his opening performance befitted that status, overcoming fellow Australian James Duckworth 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4).

Stefanos Tsitsipas fought off Taro Daniel with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 in just under two-and-a-half hours as the 11th seed aims to go further than his personal-best fourth-round appearances in 2018 and five years later.

It was not so straightforward for British number one Jack Draper, who secured a hard-fought 3-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 victory over Elias Ymer under the lights on Centre Court.

Draper is in fine form, having won the Stuttgart Open in June and defeating Carlos Alcaraz at the Queen's Club Championship, and will next meet fellow British player Cameron Norrie.

World number 42 Norrie had little trouble in his first-round test, dispatching Facundo Diaz Acosta in straight sets on No.3 Court.

Data Debrief: Comesana on cloud nine as Zverev powers through

Comesana may have expected to compete with Rublev in his first-round encounter, but this was only his second appearance on grass courts of his career at any level, professional or junior.

The world number 122 managed to battle to a hard-fought triumph after a clinical showing, converting four of five break points he earned.

Zverev had no such difficulty in progressing to the second round, powering 18 aces at an event he has never reached the quarter-finals in.

The German is now 12-2 for the year in major action, having reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and the showpiece at the French Open before defeat to Alcaraz.

Alexander Zverev avoided a first-round upset at the Halle Open after battling past fellow German Oscar Otte on Tuesday.

The second seed managed to triumph in his first match since the French Open final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz, eventually winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

Zverev has twice reached the show-piece at this event, in 2016 and 2017, though acknowledged challenges remain with adapting from the clay-court surfaces at Roland-Garros.

"A week ago, I was playing on clay still basically," Zverev said in his on-court interview. "He made it very tough for me, no rhythm at all.

"That's how grass-court tennis is sometimes and I'm just happy with the win.

"He did make it extremely difficult for me, so credit to him. I'm obviously happy that I won and hopefully, it's going to be a level above in the next match."

The world number four is now 35-10 for the season and will look to extend that record when he meets Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the next round.

Zverev has won all three head-to-head meetings with Sonego, and will fancy his chances if he delivers another heavy-hitting performance next time out.

The 27-year-old smashed 54 winners, compared to his 40 unforced errors, to triumph in just over two hours under the OWL Arena roof.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also began his grass season with victory, defeating home hopeful Henri Squire 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-2).

The Greek sixth seed will face Luciano Darderi or Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

Carlos Alcaraz continued his perfect start to the French Open, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to reach the semi-finals on Tuesday.

It is the second year running that Alcaraz has brushed aside Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, this time with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 victory in just two hours and 15 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The Spaniard set the tone early on with a break in the opening game as he comfortably cruised through the first set and was 3-0 up in the second before Tsitsipas started to mount a comeback.

The momentum stayed with Alcaraz as he stretched his lead following the tie-break though, and held his nerve to see out the third set.

The world number three has reached the semi-finals for the second consecutive year, and has booked a meeting with the new world number one, Jannik Sinner. 

Data Debrief: Alcaraz keeps chasing records

Alcaraz has become the youngest player since Andy Roddick in 2003 (v Xavier Malisse) to defeat a player in all his first six meetings in ATP events.

Not only that, but among players who started their career in the Open Era, only Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe (59 each) have registered 50 Men's Singles Grand Slam wins in fewer matches than Alcaraz (60).

Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a French Open quarter-final clash with Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday, recovering to beat Matteo Arnaldi in four sets after losing the opening set.

Tsitsipas – a beaten finalist at Roland Garros in 2021 – looked to be in a hole when Arnaldi took the opener within a comfortable 36 minutes, the Italian then racing into a 5-3 second-set lead.

However, the ninth seed saved three set points before flipping the momentum of the match with a crucial break, eventually closing out a 74-minute set in a tie-break.

The Greek produced a composed performance from there as he powered to a 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2 victory, with Arnaldi's intensity dropping after he had dictated proceedings with some pinpoint groundstrokes early in the encounter.

Tsitsipas could now reach the French Open semi-finals for just the third time, though he will face a daunting task on Tuesday against Alcaraz, after the Wimbledon champion breezed past Felix Auger Aliassime in straight sets.

Data Debrief: Best clay season yet for Tsitsipas  

Tsitsipas entered the French Open in good form, having claimed the Monte-Carlo Masters title before falling just short in the final at Barcelona.

This is now his joint-best start to a clay-court season, having won 17 of his first 20 matches on the surface in 2024, a feat he has only previously achieved in 2021 and 2022. Only in 2021 (23) has he won more matches on clay in a single season overall. 

Carlos Alcaraz dug deep to overcome a spirited performance from Sebastian Korda in the third round of the French Open, claiming a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win.

Korda failed to build on an early break as Alcaraz took the opener on Court Philippe-Chatrier, but he appeared to have the Spaniard on the ropes when he forced a second-set tie-break.

However, the two-time grand slam champion clinched the tie-break with a huge forehand winner and seemed to grow in stature from there, moving well and displaying too much power for his American opponent.

Alcaraz put Korda under pressure from the off in the third set and did not give up a single break point on his own serve, converting the first of two match points with a neat serve and volley.

He will face either Ben Shelton or Felix Auger-Aliassime next, with Stefanos Tsitsipas potentially lurking in the quarter-finals.

Data Debrief: Alcaraz just too good

As was the case against Jesper de Jong in round two, Alcaraz looked to be under serious pressure on Friday, only to step things up and pull away from his opponent.

He has now won 14 of his 17 singles matches at the French Open, with his win ratio of 82.4 per cent the third highest among active male players, after Rafael Nadal (96.6 per cent) and Novak Djokovic (85.3 per cent). 

Tommy Paul reached the semi-final of the Italian Open after pulling through a rollercoaster clash with Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday.

The number 14 seed downed Hurkacz 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the quarter-final, keeping his composure during his two hours and 43 minutes on the court.

After winning the first set, Hurkacz fought back to win the second, but the American was not out of the contest yet as he clawed back from 0-2 down early in the third.

He closed out the win in a dramatic fashion, fending off six break points while letting three of his own slip, to eventually set up a semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Nicolas Jerry on Friday. 

Data Debrief: Into the final four

After beating Daniil Medvedev in the previous round, Paul has now won back-to-back matches against top-10 opponents for the first time in his professional career with his victory over Hurkacz. 

Paul earned his 150th tour-level win to take him through to his third Masters 1000 semi-final, as he aims to become the first American finalist in Rome since Andre Agassi in 2002.

Stefanos Tsitsipas brushed aside Casper Ruud to claim his third Monte-Carlo Masters title in four years.

The Greek star took just an hour and 37 minutes to see off his Norwegian opponent 6-1 6-4 on Court Rainier III.

Ruud dispatched world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals but he could not repeat the feat as Tsitsipas once again produced his best tennis in the principality.

The title winner, who has had to overcome a back problem, told the ATP Tour’s official website: “It has been very difficult, so to be back on the podiums, winning tournaments just feels amazing.

“I can’t thank my family enough and friends – and if there is God out there – for making this moment possible. I am extremely grateful for every person behind this journey.

“The third time is even more special than the first or second time. This is an unbelievable win for me. Capturing that win today was nerve-wracking. I really wanted this trinity. I am extremely happy today.”

The 25-year-old 12th seed came out firing against the world number 10, breaking the struggling Ruud in the third game and clinching the first set at the second time of asking.

He had to save a break point in the first game of the second set and then three in the seventh as the improving Norwegian pushed for a way back into the match.

However, Tsitsipas then broke to edge himself towards the finishing line and complete a good afternoon’s work.

He said: “I am glad I presented on court and showed some ruthless tennis. From the beginning to the end my play was cohesive and I was able to blend in a lot of different shots.”

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open due to injury.

The world number three pulled out of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a right forearm problem and has not recovered in time to defend his title in his home country.

A statement from the tournament read: “Carlos Alcaraz will not be able to defend the title he won the last two seasons.

“The player from Murcia has suffered from the injury sustained in Monte Carlo, and did not have a good feeling in his training on Sunday and, despite having tried until the last moment, he will not be in the Barcelona Open.

“Wishing you a speedy recovery, we hope to see you next year.”

Fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal is scheduled to make his comeback from injury at the tournament.

The 37-year-old has not played on the main tour since January due to a hip injury.

Novak Djokovic is safely into the third round, but there were a couple of big shocks on day three of the US Open.

Seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was knocked out in five sets by Dominic Stricker, a qualifier ranked 128 in the world.

Then, in the night session, fifth seed and last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud fell foul of China’s world number 67 Zhang Zhizhen.

British qualifier Lily Miyakazi’s run came to and end in the second round.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at day three at Flushing Meadows.

Pic of the dayShock of the day

Chocolate-loving Dominic Stricker caused a major upset at the US Open by knocking out seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The chubby-cheeked 21-year-old qualifier from Switzerland, ranked 128 in the world, stunned two-time grand slam finalist Tsitsipas with a 7-5 6-7 (2) 6-7 (5) 7-6 (8) 6-3 victory to reach the third round.

The former French Open junior champion recently admitted his coach had told him to cut down on chocolate and cookies.

Yet it was Athens-born Tsitsipas who was left feeling sour after a four-hour slog on the Grandstand Court.

Brit watch

Miyazaki’s US Open adventure was ended in the second round by Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

The 27-year-old came through three matches to qualify at Flushing Meadows for the first time and then picked up a maiden grand slam win against Margarita Betova in round one.

But the world number 198 found 15th seed Bencic, of Switzerland, too tough a nut to crack as she bowed out 6-3 6-3.

Miyazaki still leaves New York with the consolation prize of having virtually doubled her earnings for the year with a £98,000 pay day for winning her first-round match.

There were victories in the doubles for Jamie Murray, with Michael Venus, Joe Salisbury alongside partner Rajeev Ram, Lloyd Glasspool with Harri Heliovaara. and British pair Julian Cash and Henry Patten.

Quote of the dayFallen seeds:

Women: Petra Kvitova (11), Victoria Azarenka (18), Beatriz Haddad Maia (19), Magda Linette (24)
Men: Casper Ruud (5), Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Francisco Cerundolo (20), Chris Eubanks (28).

Who’s up next?

Andy Murray kicks things off on Arthur Ashe against Bulgarian ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Fellow Brits Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Katie Boulter are also in action along with Jodie Burrage, who faces the match of her life against second seed Aryna Sabalenka on Louis Armstrong.

Chocolate-loving Dominic Stricker caused a major upset at the US Open by knocking out seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 21-year-old qualifier from Switzerland, ranked 128 in the world, stunned two-time grand slam finalist Tsitsipas with 7-5 6-7 (2) 6-7 (5) 7-6 (6) 6-3 victory to reach the third round.

Stricker is a former French Open junior champion who recently admitted his coach had told him to cut down on chocolate and cookies but it was Tsitsipas who was left feeling sour after a four-hour slog on the Grandstand Court.

“You know, I came out today pretty well today and felt good from the first set,” said Stricker.

“Over four hours it was a tough battle and I’m just super happy right now. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day and recover tomorrow.

“It’s such a great day for me and such a great win. It gives me a lot of confidence. I believe a lot in me now.”

Remarkably, Stricker could have been on the plane back to Bern last week having faced a match point in the second round of qualifying.

He has now achieved his best result at a grand slam, having bettered his run to the second round at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Tsitsipas served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set, and the Greek said: “That hasn’t happened to me before. It’s the first time for me.

“Usually I’m much tougher mentally, and I have shown it by coming back. Even though sometimes I get broken serving for the match, let’s say, I still find ways in the tie-break or perhaps in the fifth set. Today was not the case.”

Second seed Novak Djokovic is safely through to round three after demolishing Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

The Serbian, chasing a 24th grand slam title, dropped just six games in a 6-4 6-1 6-1 victory.

Veteran Gael Monfils stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the third round of the National Bank Open in Toronto.

The flamboyant former top-10 star has struggled with injuries over the past year and is ranked down at 276 but showed he still possesses the skills to trouble the very best with a 6-4 6-3 victory over fourth seed Tsitsipas.

The Greek, who won a title in Mexico last weekend, made a lot of mistakes, particularly on his forehand wing, but Monfils, three weeks short of his 37th birthday, was excellent in defence and attack.

Home favourite Milos Raonic continued his resurgence, meanwhile, following up his upset of Frances Tiafoe by seeing off qualifier Taro Daniel 6-4 6-3.

The former Wimbledon finalist did not compete between July 2021 and this June because of injuries and is unsure what the future holds but he has made it back-to-back victories at the Canadian Masters event for the first time in seven years.

He next faces American Mackenzie McDonald, who knocked out sixth seed Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-3, while second seed Daniil Medvedev is safely through after a 6-2 7-5 win over Matteo Arnaldi.

American Chris Eubanks stunned world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon with the biggest knockout of his career.

The towering 27-year-old twice came from a set down to continue his fine run in south-west London with a thrilling 3-6 7-6 (4) 3-6 6-4 6-4 victory in just over three hours.

His impressive win over two-time grand slam finalist Tsitsipas follows success over British number one Cameron Norrie and sets up a last-eight meeting with third seed Daniil Medvedev.

“I feel like I’m living a dream right now,” said Eubanks. “This is absolutely insane.

“When you paint all of the context – I’ve tried so much to block everything out and just focus on the next match – it’s surreal, it’s unbelievable.

“This has been a dream come true.”

Eubanks, ranked 43rd in the world, had only won two grand slam matches prior to arriving at SW19.

He made an unconvincing start to the contest on Court Two but battled back and floored Tsitsipas – conqueror of Andy Murray – with 53 winners, including 13 aces.

Eubanks recently said he hated playing on grass but is currently enjoying a nine-match winning streak on the surface.

“Those words will never come out of my mouth (again) for the rest of my career,” he said.

“The grass and I, we’ve had a very strenuous relationship over the years but right now I think it’s my best friend.”

Earlier, world number three Medvedev eased into his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final after Jiri Lehecka was forced to retire injured.

The 27-year-old Russian was in control on Court One and had just gone two sets ahead at 6-4 6-2 when his Czech opponent pulled out.

Lehecka received treatment during a medical timeout at the end of the opening set but initially battled on in some discomfort before opting for a premature departure.

“I honestly did not (realise) until he retired,” he said of Lehecka’s injury.

“I saw that maybe his movement is a little bit restricted but the way he was throwing the ball I thought that it was not causing him enough trouble but then when he retired, I was like, ‘OK, I see it different’.

“I feel sorry for Jiri. Hopefully he can recover fast and he has a lot more grand slams to come ahead of him.”

Lehecka showed some touches of class but his performance was undermined by a series of errors and, ultimately, his fitness issue.

“This is not the way how I wanted to finish the match,” the 21-year-old said.

“Of course all the credit to Daniil, because he played another solid match, but for me still I felt that if I was able to show my maximum level, then it would have been a much more better match than it was today.

“But unfortunately the injury got much, much worse during the match, and I wasn’t able to compete on the highest level.”

Lehecka struggled to deal with the power of Medvedev, with one of his returns of serve flying off court and landing in a spectator’s drink.

Both players were then forced to sit down during the sixth game of the second set due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

The affected spectator eventually walked out of the arena with the aid of medics following a delay of around 10 minutes.

Andy Murray will return to Centre Court trying to finish the job in his second-round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The two-time champion was two sets to one up against the Greek fifth seed when play was halted at around 10.40pm on Thursday night.

His addition to the line-up makes it a bumper day of action, with the British number one, men’s and women’s number ones and the player who has won more grand slam titles than anyone else also playing.

Here, the PA news agency looks ahead at Friday’s play.

More Murray mayhem


All eyes will be on how Andy Murray pulls up in the morning after the injury scare he suffered in the penultimate point of Thursday night’s action.

 

On set point, the 36-year-old went down screaming when trying to change direction before picking himself up and delivering an unreturnable serve that put him 2-1 up.

The match referee then decided it was too late to start a fourth set, meaning Murray and Tsitsipas must return on Friday afternoon to finish with the Scot leading 6-7 (3) 7-6 (2) 6-4.

Centre’s golden ticket


People with Centre Court tickets will be wondering how they got so lucky as they could hardly have picked a better line-up.

 

With the bonus of Murray finishing his match with Tsitsipas, those gracing Wimbledon’s main show court on Friday boast a combined 34 grand slam singles titles.

Carlos Alcaraz, who felt sidelined when he could not play on Centre Court in front of Roger Federer on Tuesday, opens against Alexandre Muller before Murray returns to finish his match.

Then women’s top seed Iga Swiatek will play Petra Martic before the headline act between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka closes a thrilling day’s action.

Match of the day

One of the big rivalries of the last 15 years is reignited on Centre Court as defending champion Djokovic faces Wawrinka in the third round.

The pair have fought it out on the biggest stage over the years with two of Wawrinka’s three grand slam titles coming after beating Djokovic in the final, most memorably in a stunning performance at the French Open in 2015.

But injury has taken its toll on the Swiss in recent years and he is no longer competing at the same level as Djokovic, who has almost got better with age.

Wawrinka has given himself “zero” chance of winning Wimbledon but he will have plenty of support on Centre Court as he eyes a huge upset.

Brit watch


Along with Murray’s match to a finish, Cameron Norrie finally returns to action as he looks for a knockout blow in his second-round match with Chris Eubanks.

 

The British number one has not been on court since Tuesday due to rain delays so he will be at least rested for his Court One bout with the American.

And Liam Broady will look to follow up his stunning win over fourth seed Casper Ruud when he faces former semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov on Court Two.

Order of play


Centre Court
Carlos Alcaraz v Alexandre Muller
Andy Murray v Stefanos Tsitsipas
Iga Swiatek v Petra Martic
Novak Djokovic v Stan Wawrinka

 

Court One
Aryna Sabalenka v Varvara Gracheva
Cameron Norrie v Chris Eubanks
Ons Jabeur v Bai Zhuoxuan

Other British singles
Liam Broady v Denis Shapovalov (Court 2)

Weather

Sunny, with highs of 28C.

Andy Murray will take on fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Centre Court on Thursday after the fifth seed came through a five-set battle against Dominic Thiem.

A match that started at 11am on Tuesday finally finished just before 8pm on Wednesday with Tsitsipas claiming a 3-6 7-6 (1) 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-6 (8) victory after three hours and 56 minutes of on-court action.

That will certainly have done Murray’s chances no harm given the two-time former champion was able to relax on Wednesday having wrapped up an easy win over Ryan Peniston under the roof 24 hours previously.

Murray and Tsitsipas have met twice previously – a five-set epic at the US Open in 2021 that went the Greek’s way and an encounter on grass in Stuttgart last summer where Murray claimed one of his best wins since his hip surgery.

Tsitsipas said of facing Murray: “I’m not expecting anyone supporting (me). It’s not my first rodeo.”

It is almost exactly 10 years since the Scot first lifted the trophy in SW19, and Tsitsipas said: “I remember witnessing his first Wimbledon title. Thinking about it now gives me goosebumps because I sort of felt what he went through because it was so difficult for him to close that last game.

“Every time I see that again it gives me shivers. He’s someone who’s done so much for the sport and I’ll go into it with a lot of respect for him. He’s such a tough competitor. That (Centre Court) is almost like his living room.”

It has been an up-and-down season for Tsitsipas, who reached his second grand slam final at the Australian Open but was brushed aside by Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals of the French Open and has won only two of his five matches on grass.

He resumed on Wednesday a set down to former US Open champion Thiem, who has now lost in the first round of grand slams six consecutive times as he continues to try to return to his former glories following a wrist injury.

The Austrian is at least getting closer and this match was right in the balance until the end of the deciding tie-break.

Tsitsipas’ girlfriend Paula Badosa came out to support him after winning her opening match and a final forehand pass proved to be the crucial moment.

Carlos Alcaraz demolished Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up a mouth-watering French Open semi-final against Novak Djokovic on Friday.

The prospective clash was immediately highlighted when the draw was made 12 days ago and had appeared inevitable as both men progressed through the rounds.

Both have dropped only one set but, while Djokovic had to fight back from a set down to beat Karen Khachanov on Tuesday, Alcaraz swatted aside fifth seed Tsitsipas 6-2 6-1 7-6 (5) in the night session.

The world number one said: “Believing in myself all the time, I’d say that’s the most important thing. I always feel I’m going to play this kind of matches at this level.

“I lost my focus a little bit at the end of the third set, I had a couple of match points. He started to play I would say better. I was in trouble but I’m really happy to overcome that problem, still playing a great level, believing that I was going to win the third set.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic have played only once before, with the Spaniard winning in Madrid last year, and he said: “This match everyone wants to watch. I would say it’s going to be a really good match to play and to watch. I really wanted to play this match. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best.”

On paper this appeared the toughest test for Alcaraz so far but he had won all four previous meetings against Tsitsipas, including in Barcelona in April, and was in total control from the start.

He was better in every aspect and Tsitsipas, who had won all six of his previous slam quarter-finals, simply had no answer to Alcaraz’s all-round wizardry, with winners flying past him and drop shots catching him out time and again.

The Greek did not play badly in the opening set but still had his serve broken twice and he appeared to grow increasingly demoralised in the second, where he won only 13 points.

The crowd were torn between admiring the flamboyant brilliance of Alcaraz and wanting a contest, and they responded to Tsitsipas’ call for encouragement when he finally won a game at 0-3 in the third set.

Alcaraz threatened to be held up more by a Mexican wave than his opponent but Tsitsipas did at least provide a late challenge, saving two match points at 2-5 and then breaking the 20-year-old for the first time when he served for victory.

A third match point came and went as Tsitsipas forced a tie-break, where he saved a fourth and fifth, but on his sixth chance Alcaraz converted.

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