Improving Alcaraz Races Into Fourth Round, Awaits Sinner
Carlos Alcaraz wasted no time in improving his best Wimbledon run, booking a trip to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Oscar Otte. Playing at SW19 for the second time, the 19-year-old is now the youngest man to advance to that stage at The Championships since Bernard Tomic reached the 2011 quarter-finals at the age of 18.
"I played unbelievable today," Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference. "This was my best performance so far. I'm really happy with the level, and I will try to keep this level into the next round."
Alcaraz played his cleanest match of the fortnight — and the best grass-court match of his young career — against Otte, leaving the 32nd-seeded German no chance with powerful and precise hitting throughout the one-hour, 38-minute contest. He finished with 37 winners and just eight unforced errors, winning 88 per cent (35/40) of his first-serve points.
The Spaniard set the tone on No. 1 Court by winning the first eight points of the match, then won the first five games of set two to power home his advantage and put the match beyond doubt. He improved to 4-1 on the grass, with his only two tour-level events on the surface coming at Wimbledon.
The fifth seed saved the only break point he faced while breaking serve on six of 20 chances in a dominant victory. He has shown great improvement through the rounds this fortnight and has now won eight sets in a row dating back to his opening-round victory against Jan-Lennard Struff, in which he escaped a two-sets-to-one deficit.
"I'm more comfortable to move on grass right now than in the first round, for example," Alcaraz said. "Every training, every match that I play... I feel more comfortable, and hope in the next round [that I will] feel more comfortable.
"Every day that [passes], I feel more ready on grass."
Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) July 1, 2022
After his convincing win in his first ATP Head2Head meeting with Otte, Alcaraz will look to make it 2-0 at tour-level against Sinner when they meet Sunday in the fourth round. The Italian, who earned the first grass-court win of his career earlier this week, defeated John Isner 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 on Friday.
"Obviously Jannik is a good player," Alcaraz said. "He plays unbelievable. He has a great level here on grass. He has won really good matches here, so it's going to be a really tough round.
"But obviously I'm going to enjoy [it]. Playing against Jannik is always tough. I like to play these kind of matches, these kind of challenges."
Alcaraz won their previous meeting 7-6(1), 7-5 last November at the Rolex Paris Masters. With a victory in their next encounter, he would match his best result at a Grand Slam; the Spaniard reached the quarter-finals at the 2021 US Open and last month at Roland Garros.