Alcaraz, in record time to eighths

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates a point. / Matthew Childs (Reuters)

third round

The Murcian qualifies for the fourth round of the London tournament for the first time in his career

Carlos Alcaraz had never finished a Grand Slam match in such a short time as this Friday. In just one hour and 39 minutes, the Spaniard destroyed Oscar Otte (6-3, 6-1, 6-2) and signed his fastest victory in a major to sneak into the Wimbledon round of 16 for the first time in his career of the.

The Murcian will debut in the second week of the London Grand Slam after his best performance of the tournament. Ante Otte showed that he is not overconfident when he assures that he can play well on grass and that he likes this surface. The match against the German, who was nervous and faced with one of the best in the world, bordered on perfection, impeccable. It was an hour and a half of beating the German, considered a real danger on these tracks and one of the men to avoid in the draw due to his form.

Semi-finals in Halle and Stuttgart and a meteoric rise since the beginning of the year for a man who stands at 1.93m tall and who at 28 has reached the peak of his career. A service sheet to make Alcaraz nervous who was coming 'in crescendo', but who still lacks, or lacked, many boards on grass. At least on paper, because as soon as Otte began serving, Alcaraz's youth and inexperience were forgotten on the surface.

He was sublime to the rest, practically incontestable, with 50% of points won to the rest and with more than 70% put into play. This, against a server of the stature of Otte, is impressive. As is breaking his serve seven times, forcing 20 break balls and committing only seven unforced errors.

The victory is the fastest of his Grand Slam career, above the one he scored in the first round of Roland Garros a few weeks ago against Juan Ignacio Londero in one hour and 54 minutes.

Alcaraz, in his first round of 16 at Wimbledon, will play against the Italian Jannik Sinner, who beat John Isner, and who will experience the second duel of his career against the Spaniard. Alcaraz already beat him at the Masters 1,000 in Paris last season.

Djokovic in steamroller mode

If Alcaraz was an exhibition, Novak Djokovic was not far behind. The Serbian, in his usual way in these first rounds, was a roller against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, whom he has taken well and who he disintegrated (6-0, 6-3 and 6-4) on the way to the round of 16. final number fourteen in his career.

From less to more during the tournament, Djokovic is already in the second week with his favoritism confirmed by his game. If his racket wants, the fourth Wimbledon in a row can be a breeze, because on grass, his rivals are few. At the level of the first set, in which he inflicted his first bagel of the tournament, hardly anyone can stand up to him.

With 24 consecutive wins at Wimbledon and 35 on Center Court (when he lost in 2017 it was on Court 1), Djokovic is four games away from signing his 21st Grand Slam. The next hurdle is Tim Van Rijthoven's name, which comes with eight wins in a row and the s'Hertogenbosch title under his belt. The Dutchman, ranked outside the top 170 in the world two weeks ago, won the title in his country and was invited to Wimbledon. He has left Federico Delbonis, Reilly Opelka and Nikoloz Basilashvili behind.

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