Wimbledon: Carlos Alcaraz makes shaky start against unseeded Australian Aleksandar Vukic | Tennis News

Defending Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz made a shaky start against unseeded Australian Aleksandar Vukic but moved through the gears to seal a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-2 win on Wednesday.

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

The defending champion from Spain was broken twice by world No 69 Vukic after serving for the opening set.

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.

“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 broke for a 4-2 lead as Vukic miscued an overhead smash at the net but the Spaniard handed the advantage back to his opponent three games later and was broken again in the opening set.

He recovered to force a tie-break, where he took a healthy 5-1 lead, but allowed Vukic to win three straight points only to raise his level again and take the set as Spanish fans breathed a sigh of relief on Court One.

The French Open champion, who is bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, did not give Vukic any more opportunities and closed out the second set quickly before easing through the third.

Up next for the 21-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion is American Frances Tiafoe.

“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.”

Alcaraz remains on a collision course for a semi-final clash with world No 1 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.

While Berrettini showed flashes of his brilliance with 28 aces and 65 winners, Sinner’s class and growing maturity shone through as he impressively negotiated a three-hour-and-42-minute encounter to progress into the last 32.

Sinner will face Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the third round, who came back from two sets to one down to beat Dutch 27th seed Tallon Griekspoor 4-6 7-6(7) 1-6 6-2 6-3.

American Christopher Eubanks, who reached the quarter-finals last year, suffered a 6-4 6-4 6-2 loss to Frenchman Quentin Halys.

Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud, a two-times French Open finalist, tumbled out after being beaten 6-4 7-5 6-7 (7-1) 6-3 by 37-year-old Italian Fabio Fognini.

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