Home Sport Alcaraz digs deep to stop Humbert assault and reach quarter-finals

Alcaraz digs deep to stop Humbert assault and reach quarter-finals

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Outplayed at times by his French opponent, third seed Carlos Alcaraz dug deep to triumph 6-3 6-4 1-6 7-5 to move through to the last eight at a Grand Slam for the ninth time.

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in action during his fourth round match against France’s Ugo Humbert. Picture: REUTERS, Paul Childs

LONDON – Wimbledon’s reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz was pushed to the limit for the second match in succession but once again stood firm to beat Ugo Humbert and reach the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Outplayed at times by his French opponent, third seed Alcaraz dug deep to triumph 6-3 6-4 1-6 7-5 to move through to the last eight at a Grand Slam for the ninth time.

Just as against American Frances Tiafoe in the previous round, Alcaraz struggled to contain an inspired opponent throwing the kitchen sink at him but this time narrowly avoided being dragged into another five-setter.

The players were protected from the torrential rain that drummed on the closed Centre Court roof early on but there was no hiding place for Humbert as Alcaraz stormed through the opening set after grabbing an early service break.

Left-hander Humbert began to make inroads with his early-struck returns in the second set but he went unrewarded as Alcaraz pounced to move to within a set of victory.

The warning signs had been there for Alcaraz though and he was stunned in the third set as an increasingly confident Humbert broke his serve three times in succession.

After a flurry of service breaks at the start of the fourth set, Humbert continued to look dangerous and had three break points when Alcaraz served at 3-4 but the three-time Grand Slam champion wriggled out of danger.

Alcaraz found some magic just when he needed it most, curling a staggering forehand winner down the line when under the hammer in his next service game and then breaking serve in the following game with another forehand dipper.

Alcaraz brought up match point with a silky drop shot and sealed victory with a swinging serve.

Reuters

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