Alcaraz will face Canadian left-hander Denis Shapovalov (32nd) for a spot in the knockout round.

The second set, the one that the young Spaniard (20 years old) lost, is the only one in which his ratio of winning points and direct faults is negative.

"I'm very happy with my level with the wind (which has been blowing on Centre Court since the beginning of the tournament, editor's note), the conditions were really difficult, we had to adjust as much as possible, I was very focused on each shot," explained Juan Carlos Ferrero's protégé.

As often with Alcaraz, the match offered some spectacular points: if we had to remember only one, it would be the one where the two players managed one after the other a tweener, a shot between the legs with their backs to the net, at the end of the third set.

In the absence of Rafael Nadal, victim of a stubborn muscle injury and off circuit for an indefinite period, the Murcian, who became the youngest world N.1 in history last September in the wake of his coronation at the US Open, his first Grand Slam, is the main contender for the title in Paris with Novak Djokovic.

No one has won more matches on clay than him in 2023: now 22 out of 24 played. This earned him three titles on ochre: Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and especially Madrid, plus a final in Rio.

© 2023 AFP