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Alcaraz on course for Djokovic quarter-final showdown


Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz stayed on course for a potential quarter-final showdown with six-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic after taking care of tricky German opponent Oscar Otte with a no-nonsense 6-3 6-1 6-2 third round win yesterday.

Otte had stretched twice champion Andy Murray to five sets in a late-night second-round blockbuster 12 months ago but any hopes of a repeat were quickly extinguished by the fifth seed who seems to have found his comfort zone on grass.

The 19-year-old Spaniard, who had won only one match on grass before this year’s championships, appears to have found his feet on the lush surface as he saved the only break point he faced yesterday while capturing his opponent’s serve six times.

He wrapped up the contest when Otte misfired the ball into the sky and will next face Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner. If he wins that match and Djokovic beats Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven, the pair will meet in the last eight next week.

Djokovic clinically disposed of fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic as he continued his relentless pursuit of a fourth successive Wimbledon title with a 6-0 6-3 6-4 victory.

The top seed was unplayable in the opening set of his third-round match on Centre Court, taking it in 24 minutes.

Kecmanovic, seeded 25, received the biggest cheer of the day when he finally got on the scoreboard after 35 minutes by taking a long service game. But Djokovic was streets ahead of his 22-year-old rival as he reached the last 16 at Wimbledon for the 14th time.

The 35-year-old needed just one break of serve in the second set and broke twice in the third to lead 5-2 before blotting his copybook slightly with a couple of loose games.

It only delayed the inevitable, however, as Djokovic completed victory, his 24th in a row at the grasscourt major dating back to 2018, to set up a clash with Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven.

“Obviously it helps a lot if you start off the match very well,” Djokovic said of his lightning start. “The way I played first set was great.

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“I maintained that level pretty much throughout the entire match. Just overall very pleased.”

Meanwhile, Third seed Ons Jabeur once again raced through her latest match at Wimbledon to book a place in the fourth round.

A 6-2 6-3 win over Diane Parry in 68 minutes was the longest amount of time the Tunisian had spent on court at the All England Club this summer but still means she has only played just over three hours in SW19 so far.

Jabeur was in superb touch against her French opponent and showed her full repertoire of tricks on Centre Court with several trademark drop shots able to help her into the last-16.

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