Wimbledon July 4 (US): At only his third Wimbledon Championships, Carlos Alcaraz is already one of the key players to win.
The top seeded Spaniard never made it past the fourth round at the All England Club, but he has become the primary threat in Novak Djokovic’s quest for a record-equalling eighth men’s title at a grass court Grand Slam.
On Tuesday, the Cars defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-0 6-2 7-5 on the first court, a fitting spot for the world No. 1 player.
The game was played under the roof because rain affected outdoor play for the second day in a row, the Associated Press reported.
“Obviously without the roof, with the sun, it’s much better for me. I think for everyone too,” Alcaraz said on the field. “With the roof or not, I have to show my best level.”
His personal best led Alcaraz to win his first major title at the US Open last year. He reached the semifinals at the French Open this year, but Djokovic ended up winning that match on his way to his 23rd Grand Slam title.
At Wimbledon, Alcaraz reached the second round in 2021, playing as a wild card. He reached the fourth round last year and entered the tournament this year after winning the grass court title at Queen’s Club.
The 36-year-old Chardy, who was playing at Wimbledon for the 14th time and 56th at a major, had planned to retire from the sport after this year’s tournament.
Kate, Princess of Wales, was at the rainy Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday and sat at the Royal Box in Center Court next to Roger Federer, the eight-time champion who has retired from the sport. Federer was honored before play began.
Matches started at most grounds shortly after 11am at the All England Club, but the tarps came out as it rained about an hour later.
Rain is expected for most of Tuesday in southwest London.
Elena Rybakina opened play on Center Court against American challenger Shelby Rogers, the traditional venue for the defending women’s champion. Defending champion, Djokovic, had the honor of starting play on Center Court on day one.
Rybakina, who withdrew from the Eastbourne International last week due to a viral illness, improved her serve after the first set and beat Rogers 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
“I feel so much better,” she said in court. “It was a bit unlucky for me. It wasn’t easy to get back into shape and physical condition, but now I’m much better. I hope this win gives me more confidence in the next round.”
Rybakina also pulled out of the French Open due to an illness and said she was “very nervous” at the start of Tuesday’s match.
Sixth seed Ons Jabeur, who lost to Rybakina in last year’s final, moved ahead with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Magdalena Fritsch.
Djokovic’s match was delayed by rain on Monday, and he even helped drain the court before play resumed. The seven-time champion ended up defeating Pedro Cachin 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
#Alcaraz #starts #Wimbledon #straightset #win #defending #champion #Rybakina #beats #Rogers