Top seed and World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain beat sixth seed Holger Rune of Denmark 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Wednesday, July 12. The 20-year-old Spaniard became the youngest man to qualify for the last four at Wimbledon in the last 15 years.

Alcaraz will take on third seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia in what promises to be an absorbing semifinal on Friday, June 14. The Russian does not rate grass as his most favourite surface and Alcaraz’s form on grass this year should give him the upper hand in that clash.

Their head-to-head is tied at 1-1 at the moment, but the Spaniard remains a slightly better player on grass. Medvedev’s superior serve, though, may help him win some easy points, which could make the difference in the end.

On that note, let us take a look at two things that stood out in the quarterfinal match between Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune.

#1. Carlos Alcaraz was the better player at the net:

Both Alcaraz and Rune played drop shots at reasonably high frequency to drag each other to the net. However, the Spaniard had an upper hand in those exchanges more often than not with his superior touch and volleying skills.

Rune had a chance to break Alcaraz in the ninth game of the first set, as the latter trailed 0-30. However, the Spaniard saved himself with some confident tennis, including an audacious volley.

The first set went into a tie-break that the Spaniard eventually won by hitting a stupendous return winner.

#2. Carlos Alcaraz returned very well in the match:

Alcaraz demonstrated the improvement in his return game throughout the match. He hit a few wonderful returns to put Rune’s second serve under pressure. The Dane had the more powerful backhand of the two, but Alcaraz’s superior defence, better forehand and outstanding returns gave him the upper hand.

The Spaniard got a break each in the second and third sets to earn a comfortable win. Rune could not return very well and could not break the Spaniard even once in the match.

Moreover, the Dane was able to win only 58% of the points on his second serve, while Alcaraz managed 75%.The stage is being set for a mouth-watering summit clash between Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic. It would be only the third time that the two highest ranked players have met on the court.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay


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