Monday, June 17, 2024

Wimbledon 2023: Alcaraz advances to second round with an easy win over Chardy

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz advanced to the second round of the Wimbledon after soaring past Jeremy Chardy, who was competing in his final singles match, here on Tuesday.

Under the roof on Court 1, the Spaniard overpowered the 36-year-old Frenchman with his destructive groundstrokes, sealing a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 victory in one hour and 53 minutes.

“I think I played really well at the beginning of the match,” said Alcaraz in his on-court interview.

“In the third set, he found his level. I was in trouble, but I like to play rallies, I like to play battles, and I’m really happy to have played at a great level. Both of us are in the third set. It was really close, but I’m really happy to get through this first round,” he added.

After shaking out his leg, Alcaraz quickly bounced to his feet and from there it was one-way traffic, with Chardy unable to deal with the Spaniard’s pace off the ground. The Frenchman struck seven double faults in the first set as he showed signs of nerves, but did play with more freedom as the match went on, breaking Alcaraz to lead 4-2 in the third set.

The 36-year-old was unable to sustain any serious pressure on Alcaraz in their first ATP head-to-head meeting, though, with the top seed rolling off five of the next six games to advance.

Alcaraz, who holds a 41-4 record in the season, will next meet Arthur Rinderknech or Alexandre Muller. The 20-year-old arrived at SW19 in strong form, having lifted his maiden tour-level grass-court title at The Queen’s Club last month. He is making his third appearance at Wimbledon, where he advanced to the fourth round last year.

If Alcaraz clinches his sixth tour-level title of the season at The Championships, he will remain No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

On the other hand, Chardy’s storied 18-year singles career on Tour came to an end following his defeat. The Frenchman lifted his only tour-level trophy in Stuttgart in 2009 and reached a career-high No. 25 in 2013.

The 36-year-old, who is now coaching countryman Ugo Humbert, also won seven tour-level doubles titles.

During his game against Alcaraz, the Frenchman enjoyed a special moment when he earned his first game of the match at 0-6, 1-2, receiving a standing ovation from the packed crowd. Chardy was also cheered on by his wife, Susan, and son, Stone.

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