Carlos Alcaraz overcomes slow start to sail into Wimbledon third round

Carlos Alcaraz survived a first-set wobble before racing into the Wimbledon third round.

The defending champion from Spain was broken twice by Australian world number 69 Aleksandar Vukic after serving for the opening set.

Vukic, 28, had form for upsetting the Spaniard, having beaten the then 17-year-old in French Open qualifying four years ago.

Carlos Alcaraz hits a forehand on his way to victory
Carlos Alcaraz on his way to victory (Zac Goodwin/PA)

But there was to be no repeat as Alcaraz managed to break back to force a tie-break, which he dominated, and never looked back.

The 21-year-old went on to register a 7-6 (5) 6-2 6-2 victory, spending just an hour and 48 minutes on Court One.

“I’m really happy about my performance today,” he said. “The first set was the key for me. He served for the set and then I played a really good tie-break.

“In the second and third I played a really high level so I’m really happy about it.”

Alcaraz will face American Frances Tiafoe in the third round on Friday.

“I’m going for him,” he added. “We played a really good match in the US Open. I know he is a really talented player, a tough one, even tougher on grass with his style.

“It’s going to be a very difficult match for me. I’m ready to take that challenge, put on a show and hopefully take him.”

Jannik Sinner reacts during his second-round win
Jannik Sinner came through a late-night thriller (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Alcaraz remains on a collision course for a semi-final clash with world number one Jannik Sinner, who came through a thrilling four-set tussle with fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini.

The top seed put on a show to beat the 2021 finalist 7-6 (3) 7-6 (4) 2-6 7-6 (4) in a high-level encounter that finished under the Centre Court roof shortly after 10.30pm.

Eighth seed Casper Ruud was sent crashing out, but it could hardly be classed as a shock.

The Norwegian is a two-time French Open runner-up, but his aversion to grass was evident again in a 6-4 7-5 6-7 (1) 6-3 defeat to Italian Fabio Fognini.

In five visits to SW19, 25-year-old Ruud has never made it past the second round.

Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev won his first match on Centre Court in seven years.

Daniil Medvedev raises his arms in celebration
Daniil Medvedev ended his wait for a Centre Court win (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Bizarrely, the Russian has never lost a match on Court One, and was only beaten by Alcaraz in the semi-finals last year when he had to switch to Centre.

But he broke his drought in style by coming from a set down to beat Frenchman Alexandre Muller 6-7 (3) 7-6 (4) 6-4 7-5.

“Centre Court for some reason feels much slower,” he said. “I need to get used to it. The more I play on it the more chances I have to get used to it.

“I am always happy to play in Centre Court – if I win.”