Wimbledon: Hard fought win for Alcaraz

London, July 6: Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz defeated close friend Frances Tiafoe in a roller-coaster five sets to reach the Wimbledon last 16 on Friday as Jannik Sinner and Coco Gauff breezed through.

Alcaraz won 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 on the back of 16 aces in his 55 winners in a Centre Court thriller that stretched to the best part of four hours

“Always a big challenge playing against Frances,” admitted Alcaraz, who was also pushed to five sets by the American in the semi-finals of the 2022 US Open on his way to a first Grand Slam title.

“He is a really talented player, really tough to face.”

Alcaraz, who is bidding to become only the sixth man to capture the French Open and Wimbledon titles back-to-back, has now reached the last 16 of a Slam for the 10th time.

Alcaraz and Tiafoe exchanged a warm embrace at the net.

“Just ultimate respect. Him just saying, ‘It’s good to see you play like that.’ Me just saying, ‘I can’t stand you,” joked the American.

World number three Alcaraz will next take on either Ugo Humbert of France or Brandon Nakashima of the United States.