Carlos Alcaraz edges Frances Tiafoe in the Wimbledon thriller

Carlos Alcaraz ousted Frances Tiafoe after a massive battle on Centre Court

by Jovica Ilic
Carlos Alcaraz edges Frances Tiafoe in the Wimbledon thriller
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The defending champion Carlos Alcaraz is through into the last 16 at Wimbledon following a massive battle. The Spaniard faced Frances Tiafoe in the third round and prevailed 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in three hours and 50 minutes.

Thus, Carlos passed the first real test in London this year and remained on the title course, improving his incredible five-setter records to 12-1! Like against Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros, Alcaraz found himself in a challenging position, trailing 30-0 in the ninth game of the fourth set before raising his level and outplaying Tiafoe.

Carlos produced 11 consecutive comfortable holds since the end of the third set, battling past into the last 32. The Spaniard fired 16 aces and bested the American behind the second serve. Tiafoe had his chances, generating ten break points in the opening three sets and seizing three.

Alcaraz earned eight break opportunities and converted five, two in the deciding set.

Carlos Alcaraz, Wimbledon 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Frances Tiafoe in five sets at Wimbledon.

The younger player landed 52 winners and 39 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely but winning only five points more than an inspired rival who gave his best to produce a stunner.

The Spaniard made a better start to the encounter, building the advantage before his level dropped. They served well in the opening four games before Alcaraz saved a break point at 2-2. He survived the rival's game points in the next one and broke Tiafoe with a forehand winner for a 4-2 advantage.

The American recovered quickly and pulled the break back in the next one before holding at 15 for 4-4. Carlos defended three break points in the ninth game, staying on the positive side but struggling again at 5-5. Frances clinched a break in game 11 with a deep return and wrapped up the opener with a hold at love a few minutes later for 7-5.

Carlos made a fresh start in the second set, providing four comfortable holds and breaking Frances two times in a row for 6-2.

Carlos Alcaraz, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The American squandered game points in the sixth game, losing serve and experiencing another break at 2-5, bringing the Spaniard back to the positive side of the scoreboard.

Tiafoe recovered his initial shot in the third set, notching five comfortable holds and keeping the pressure on Alcaraz. Carlos denied break points in the opening two service games but could not repeat that at 3-3. Frances broke after an entertaining point at the net and wrapped up the set after a deuce at 5-4, moving two sets to one in front after two hours and 20 minutes.

They served well in the fourth set, with Alcaraz having no room for errors. He climbed back from 0-30 in the ninth game and played better in the tie break.

Carlos Alcaraz, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Spaniard started with a service winner and grabbed two mini-breaks with winners.

Carlos won all five points behind the initial shot, seizing the first set point at 6-2 with a powerful serve, forcing a decider after three hours and 16 minutes. The defending champion kept his serve at a high level in the final set, and his rival failed to follow that pace.

Carlos broke Frances in games three and five and sealed the deal with a drop shot winner at 5-2, scoring another impressive victory, the tenth in a row at Majors.

Carlos Alcaraz Frances Tiafoe Centre Court