Court 1 at Wimbledon delighted by Alcaraz’s fighting spirit
The Spanish sensation beat Jan-Lennard Struff, thanks to 23 aces, his record in a match. He will face Griekspoor or Fognini in the second round.
“Last year I won in the first round in five sets, this time too, I definitely like to play on grass,” said Carlos Alcaraz, drawing laughter from the spectators who packed Court 1 at Wimbledon and were on their feet applauding the victory of the 19-year-old from Murcia, in his debut against Jan-Lennard Struff. Alcaraz had to dig deep in to come through this match, thanks also to the “best game” of his career in terms of serving (23 aces), as he himself recognised at the end of the battle. The Spaniard, from Murcia, currently the hottest sensation in world tennis came through 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3) and 6-4 in four hours 11 minutes against an extremely stubborn rival. The 32-year-old German, currently 155th in the world, who had to play the qualifiers after a number of months struggling with an injury to his right foot that had only allowed him to play 12 games so far this season.
Alcaraz loving Wimbledon
“I feel great, playing here is amazing, and winning this amazing match is very important to me. I didn’t expect to play so well today”, acknowledged Carlitos, little Carlos as he’s known in Spain, after beating a Struff who gave it his all and landed 62 winners, 30 of them aces. But he was unable to break the will of the Spaniard, who came into the tournament short of preparation and with discomfort in his right elbow, which forces him to play with a bandage to protect and warm the affected area.
The truth is that Alcaraz could have closed out the match in the fourth set, when he had four break points to take a 5-4 lead, but he failed to convert them and then had to suffer. That, though, was the highpoint for the spectators, who got to witness an epic battle. Struff, a true fighter, did not give up until the end. After a tough and demanding start to the championship, Alcaraz will face Dutchman Griekspoor or Italian Fognini on Wednesday, as he looks to reach the third round of the British major for the first time.