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Sport

Sinner, Alcaraz move on at Wimbledon as Osaka slumps on Centre Court return

todayJuly 4, 2024 7

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Title rivals Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz reached the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday as Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka was demolished on her return to Centre Court after a five-year absence.

Australian Open champion Sinner defeated Italian Davis Cup teammate Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 7-6 (7/4) in a three-hour 42-minute duel.

Berrettini, the 2021 runner-up, fired 65 winners, including 28 aces, past the top seed and carved out four breaks of serve to two.

However, Sinner calmly recovered from a break down in the fourth set before playing the more composed tiebreak, which ended when Berrettini committed his 48th and final unforced error of the contest.

“It’s very tough we had to face each other in the second round,” said 2023 semifinalist Sinner, who will take on Miomir Kecmanovic for a place in the last 16.

Alcaraz defeated Australia’s world number 69 Aleksandar Vukic 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 6-2 on the back of 42 winners.

The third-seeded Spaniard’s only moments of concern came in the first set when he let slip a 5-2 lead and found himself 5-6 down with Vukic serving for the opener.

However, the three-time major winner steadied the ship to race away to victory against a player who got the better of him in qualifying at the 2020 French Open.

Alcaraz next faces fellow crowd-pleaser Frances Tiafoe, the American he defeated in five sets in the semifinals of the 2022 US Open on his way to his first Grand Slam triumph.

‘GOING FOR HIM’

“I’m going for him,” said Alcaraz, who is bidding to become just the sixth man after Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to win the French Open and Wimbledon titles back to back.

“I’m ready to play a really high level of tennis and hopefully take him.”

Tiafoe made the third round by seeing off Borna Coric in straight sets.

Four-time major winner Osaka, playing on Centre Court for the first time since 2019, went down 6-4, 6-1 to America’s Emma Navarro in just 59 minutes.

The 26-year-old former world No 1 is now ranked at 113 having only returned to the tour in January after giving birth to daughter Shai last year.

“I’m a little disappointed because I wanted to do really well. I feel like I put a lot of time into it. There’s always next year,” said Osaka.

Supersport

AFP

Written by: Staff Writer

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