Djokovic, Swiatek, Alcaraz cruise at Wimbledon; Murray ousted

London, Jul 7 (EFE).- Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic made quick work of Stan Wawrinka in Wimbledon third-round action on Friday, brushing aside one of the tournament’s most dangerous floaters 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).

In other men’s action Wednesday, Spanish world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz topped France’s Alexandre Muller 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 in the second round, but crowd favorite Andy Murray of the United Kingdom narrowly lost to fifth-seeded Greek star Stefanos Tsitisipas 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (2-7), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

The 36-year-old Djokovic was well aware of the danger posed by Wawrinka, one of only three players, along with Rafael Nadal and Murray, who have defeated him multiple times in Grand Slam finals.

Coming out focused in Friday’s last match on Centre Court, the Serbian No. 2 seed had three chances to break serve in the second game of the match before finally striking first blood to take a 4-2 lead.

A few games later, he wrapped up the first set with his fifth-straight routine service hold.

The second set was more lopsided, as Djokovic raised his level and the 38-year-old Swiss started to show his age.

Wawrinka put up a good fight in the third set, but Djokovic once again shifted into a higher gear in the tiebreaker to wrap up the contest in just over two hours to finish before the 11 pm curfew at Wimbledon.

“Coming into the court today, we knew that it’s going to be really tight to finish the match today. I mean one of us had to win in straight sets,” the Serbian said in a post-match, on-court interview.

“It looked very, very good for me the first two sets. Well, then he raised his level. I dropped mine a little bit. And the crowd got involved. It was a good atmosphere and hopefully you guys enjoyed it.”

Djokovic’s next opponent in his quest to equal Roger Federer’s record haul of eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles will be Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4 in third-round action on Friday.

In men’s singles second-round action on Friday, Tsitsipas stormed back to defeat Murray in a match the Scottish player was leading two sets to one when play was suspended on Thursday night.

The Greek player forced a fifth set when he guessed right on a Murray passing shot and struck a volley winner to clinch the fourth-set tiebreaker.

In that decider, Tsitsipas earned his first service break of the match in the third game and finished off the hard-fought victory in four hours and 40 minutes with his 17th ace.

While the No. 5 seed has spent nearly nine hours on court to reach the third round, Alcaraz enjoyed a second-straight relatively routine victory and has logged just four and a half hours in his first two contests.

He will next take on Chile’s Nicolas Jarry.

Two of tennis’ other bright young stars – Danish No. 6 seed Holger Rune and Italian No. 8 seed Jannik Sinner – also have looked impressive thus far at this year’s Wimbledon.

On Friday, Rune swept aside Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 to reach the third round and will next take on Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Sinner rallied after losing the first set to defeat France’s Quentin Halys 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 and will next square off against Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan in the fourth round.

In women’s action, Polish world No. 1 Iga Swiatek defeated Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-2, 7-5 and Belarusian world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka battled past France’s Varvara Gracheva 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.

American No. 4 seed Jessica Pegula defeated Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-4, 6-0 in the third round; the 2022 runner-up, Tunisian world No. 6 Ons Jabeur, routed China’s Bai Zhuoxuan 6-1, 6-1 in the second round; and Czech world No. 9 and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova cruised past Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-2 in the second round. EFE

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