Alcaraz stays on course for Djokovic Wimbledon showdown as Jabeur gains revenge

Alcaraz stays on course for Djokovic Wimbledon showdown as Jabeur gains revenge

Carlos Alcaraz stayed on track for a Wimbledon title showdown against defending champion Novak Djokovic on Wednesday as Ons Jabeur avenged her painful defeat in last year's final.

Carlos Alcaraz 8 July 2023 Wimbledon
Photo: Twitter/carlosalcaraz

Spanish world number one Alcaraz was in imperious form as he swept aside his friend Holger Rune 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-4 to set up a semi-final against Daniil Medvedev.

Alcaraz faced just one break point in the entire quarter-final, which he snuffed out, hitting 35 winners against 13 unforced errors.

"Honestly, it is amazing for me," said Alcaraz. "It's been a dream since I started playing tennis."

The US Open champion, who now has 10 straight wins on grass, was delighted with his performance against his fellow 20-year-old.

"I am playing at a great level. I didn't expect to play a great level on this surface," he said. "For me, it is crazy."

He said he found it tough at the beginning of the match, especially with Rune on the other side of the net.

"But once you get into the quarter-finals there's no friends," he added. "You have to be focused on yourself and I think I did great in that part."

Alcaraz is the youngest semi-finalist at Wimbledon since Djokovic in 2007 but next up on Friday is a tough-looking encounter with third seed Medvedev.

The Russian saw off a feisty challenge from unseeded American Christopher Eubanks to win 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.

Eubanks, who had shocked fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round, was attempting to become just the third man to reach the semi-finals on debut.

However, the 27-year-old's challenge fizzled out in the final stages of a bruising, big-hitting contest.

Medvedev said he was wary of the power of Alcaraz.

"If you give him one easy shot, you can be in trouble," he said.

"There are big chances you're going to get a winner with, let's say, Novak (Djokovic) or Rafa (Nadal) -- you kind of feel like you can have a chance to get to this shot.

"But with Carlos, you're not going to get this one. One shot sometimes is brutal."

- Jabeur's revenge -

In a repeat of the 2022 title match, Tunisian sixth seed Jabeur came from behind to beat defending champion Elena Rybakina 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-1 in their quarter-final.

Both players broke twice in the first set before the Kazakh third seed took the tie-break.

But Rybakina cracked in the 10th game of the second set, allowing Jabeur to level the match and the Tunisian maintained her momentum to storm to victory.

"Crazy match, difficult match but I'm glad that I got the win this time," said the 28-year-old, who admitted she had not been able to watch her defeat last year because it was too painful.

"I wasn't ready to play this kind of match (last year)," she said. "I don't regret last year. It happened for a reason. I always say it.

"It was meant to be this year. It was meant to be in the quarter-finals. I have learned a lot from the final last year. Definitely very proud of myself for the improvement that I did mentally, physically, and with the tennis racquet."

Jabeur will face world number two Aryna Sabalenka in Thursday's women's semi-finals.

The Belarusian powered into a second Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Madison Keys of the United States.

A double break secured the first set and Sabalenka, who was defeated by Karolina Pliskova in the last four in 2021, dug herself out of a deep hole at 4-2, 40-0 down in the second set.

Sabalenka was banned from the 2022 tournament following the invasion of Ukraine, along with all Russian and Belarusian players.

Belarus is a key ally of Moscow.

"When I was a little girl I dreamed of winning Wimbledon," she added. "It's something special here."

Ukrainian wild card Elina Svitolina will meet unseeded Czech player Marketa Vondrousova in the other women's semi-final on Thursday.


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