Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune have been the leading players born in 2003, embracing three duels on the ATP Tour and hoping for plenty more battles in the future. Their most recent clash came in last year's Wimbledon quarter-final, with Alcaraz earning a tight 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in two hours and 21 minutes for a place in his third Major semi-final at 20.
Rune felt confident before the match, motivated to leave everything on the court and overpower a better-ranked rival. However, he lost the crucial points and ended his campaign in the quarter-final. Holger praised Carlos and how he handled the nerves, emerging as a deserved winner.
Alcaraz accumulated 17 points more than his rival, defending the only break chance he faced and converting two out of three chances in sets two and three to seal the deal. The Spaniard tamed his strokes nicely, hitting more winners than unforced errors and overpowering the Dane in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes.
Carlos saved a break point in the encounter's first game with a service winner and held after Holger's loose forehand, bypassing an early setback.
Carlos Alcaraz defeated Holger Rune in last year's Wimbledon final.
Rune held after deuce with a service winner in game four for 2-2 and locked the result at 4-4 with a powerful serve in game eight.
Holger clinched the tenth game with a crafty volley winner at the net, staying on the positive side and reaching a tie break. The Dane hit a double fault at 3-3 to fall behind, and the Spaniard attacked at 5-3 to earn three set points.
Alcaraz painted a backhand return winner on the first, wrapping up the opener after 64 minutes. The returners grabbed 11 points in ten service games of the second set, and Carlos made the difference with a late break. Rune did everything right for 4-3 before playing a terrible smash in game nine to offer Alcaraz a break point.
Carlos painted a backhand down the line return winner, securing a break in style and moving in front. Alcaraz served for the set at 5-4 and landed a powerful serve for a 7-6, 6-4 advantage in an hour and 39 minutes, moving closer to the finish line.
After four good holds att he start of the third set, Rune faced issues at 2-2. Carlos landed a volley winner for two break points and seized the first with a deep return, causing Holger's backhand error and making a massive step toward the finish line.
The Spaniard cemented the advantage with a forehand winner in game six and forged a 5-3 lead with an unreturned serve two games later. Carlos attacked on the return in game nine and created a match point with a deep return and a forced error.
The Dane stayed calm and saved it with a service winner, bringing the game home with another and prolonging his chances. Alcaraz served for the victory at 5-4 and made no mistakes, firing a service winner for three match points.
The Spaniard fired a powerful serve on the third, celebrating a massive victory and extending his winning streak on grass.
"I was excited, feeling good physically and ready to give everything in my power to win.
However, Carlos held his nerves more efficiently than me, playing better in the crucial moments," Holger Rune said.