Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: Daniel LEAL / AFP 20:37 pm, June 22, 2023Carlos Alcaraz gets his bearings at Queen's. After a complicated first round against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, the Spaniard easily beat Czech Jiri Lehecka and reached a grass-court tournament quarter-final for the first time in his career.
After a complicated transition from clay to grass in the first round of the Queen's tournament, Carlos Alcaraz, 2nd in the world, found his feet Thursday at the expense of Czech Jiri Lehecka (36th) whom he beat 6-2, 6-3 to reach his first quarterfinal on grass. The 20-year-old Spaniard will face Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (26th), who defeated 19th-ranked Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, for a place in the final four.
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On Tuesday in the first round, Alcaraz had the greatest difficulty in defeating Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, 83rd and drafted from qualifying, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3). He said the win was a "very good performance" as he was playing his first grass court match of the season.
But on Thursday, he was much more confident in his support, moved much better and his shots were all the more effective to win in 1:25 on his third match ball, the second on his serve. Alcaraz, winner of the 2022 US Open, had played only two grass tournaments so far, at Wimbledon in 2021 (defeat in the 2nd round) and in 2022 (defeat in the 8th final). The Spaniard has reached at least the semi-finals of seven of the eight tournaments played this year (he was beaten in the third round in Rome).