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Carlos Alcaraz looks to extend his career-best Wimbledon run.

Day 5 Preview: Alcaraz Continues Grass-Court Education

Top-10 seeds Djokovic, Norrie, Sinner also in action

As the Wimbledon third round commences on Friday, seeded players begin to square off for the first time at The Championships. Three such matches are on the Day 5 docket, with Carlos Alcaraz meeting Oscar Otte, Novak Djokovic facing fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic and Jannik Sinner taking on John Isner.

Ninth seed Cameron Norrie will close the day's play on Centre Court against American Steve Johnson following Djokovic's match.

In doubles action, third seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski join sixth-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah as the day's headliners.

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[5] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. Oscar Otte (GER)

Alcaraz's wait for his Centre Court debut continues, with this matchup slated for No. 1 Court, but the Spaniard's bid to extend his best Wimbledon run is firmly in his own hands. The 19-year-old will look to control the proceedings against Otte with his all-action style as he continues to adapt his game to the grass.

"Playing on grass is so beautiful for me," Alcaraz said after his straight-sets win over Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday. "I like to play on grass and I enjoy playing here at Wimbledon."

The fifth seed overturned a two-sets-to-one deficit in a tense first-round battle with Jan-Lennard Struff — his first grass-court match of the season — and looked more assured with his movement in his second outing.

"I felt more comfortable today than the first round," he said. "But obviously, I need more hours on court, on grass, to feel more comfortable."

Alcaraz At The Majors Best Result Appearances
Australian Open R3 (2022) 2
Roland Garros QF (2022) 2
Wimbledon R3 (2022) 2
US Open QF (2021) 1

So far he has spent over six hours on the London lawns, including his four-hour, 11-minute opener. By contrast, Otte has spent just one hour, 33 miniutes on court this fortnight. After racing past countryman Peter Gojowczyk with the loss of just four games, he moved past Christian Harrison after the American retired 15 minutes into their second-round match.

But the German has had plenty of practise on the grass this month, reaching the semi-finals at both Stuttgart and Halle. In those semi-finals, he tested Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev but lost a combined three tie-breaks in two defeats. With upset wins over Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov, Otte brings a 7-2 grass-court record into the Wimbledon third round, including his second-round win.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SER) vs. [25] Miomir Kecmanovic (SER)

Djokovic and Kecmanovic are set to take their show on the road after two previous meetings in Belgrade, the home city of both men.

Kecmanovic is seeded this fortnight for the second time at a Grand Slam, having entered Wimbledon at a career-high of No. 30 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 22-year-old lived up to the billing last month at Roland Garros, advancing to the third round before bowing out to Medvedev.

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He once again faces one of the ATP Tour's best in the Wimbledon third round as he prepares for his third ATP Head2Head clash with his countryman. Djokovic won their two Belgrade quarter-final meetings in 2021 and 2022, with Kecmanovic taking a set this April.

Djokovic went on to reach the final at this year's Serbia Open — his third event of 2022 — and has since played his way into top form. He was particularly happy with his performance in his second-round Wimbledon win over Thanasi Kokkinakis, after he dropped a set to Soonwoo Kwon two days prior in his first grass-court match of the season.

"I think the quality of tennis was really high from my side," he said Wednesday after a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory. "Much better than the first match performance... I played with not too many unforced errors from the back of the court. Whenever I needed to put the return in, I did. So all in all just a really, really satisfying performance."

The top seed will need another strong performance against Kecmanovic, who reached six straight tour-level quarter-finals from February through April, including a semi-final showing in Munich. But he was 0-2 on the grass this season before his four-set victories against John Millman and Alejandro Tabilo this week.

[10] Jannik Sinner (ITA) vs. [20] John Isner (USA)

Sinner outclassed Stan Wawrinka across four sets in one of the headline matches of the opening round, earning his first career grass win, then downed Mikael Ymer in four sets to reach the Wimbledon third round for the first time. The Italian faces an entirely different proposition against John Isner on Day 5.

The American is set for a big day, win or lose. With five aces, he will overtake Ivo Karlovic for the career ace record, currently standing at 13,728.

"Looks like Jannik Sinner will be on the receiving end of the record-breaker," Isner said in his post-match presser. "I hope I didn't totally jinx myself," he added with a laugh, "but I think I should be able to get [five] aces in my next match."

Isner followed a 54-ace barrage in a five-set win against Enzo Couacaud with 36 against Andy Murray in the second round. He was never broken by Murray as he earned his first ATP Head2Head win in nine matches against the Briton, and now seeks his second win in three matches opposite Sinner.

"For sure it's a very, very tough match, especially here on grass" the Italian previewed. "He serves well. Hopefully I can read a little bit his serve, but it's one of the toughest challenges, returning John's serve.

"There are for sure some important moments, especially when he's serving. So for sure I will try my best. I will not [have] so much rhythm, so let's see."

Also In Action

Norrie will enjoy the support of the Centre Court crowd as he looks to become the first Briton into the fourth round with a win against Johnson. The ninth seed is the lone British man still standing in the top half of the mens' singles draw, with Liam Broady representing Great Britain in the bottom half.

Johnson, who downed home favourite Ryan Peniston in the second round, is one of seven Americans in the third round. (An eighth will follow upon the conclusion of the rain-delayed match between Jack Sock and Maxime Cressy.) In addition to Johnson and Isner, 23rd seed Frances Tiafoe and 30th seed Tommy Paul are also in the top half. Tiafoe faces Alexander Bublik on Friday while Paul takes on Jiri Vesely.

In the day's lone match between unseeded men, Ugo Humbert faces David Goffin, while 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili takes on surprise 's-Hertogenbosch champion Tim van Rijthoven.

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