Tennis-Alcaraz survives five-set whirlwind to reach Wimbledon second round

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - June 27, 2022 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after winning his first round match against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - It might not have been the workout Carlos Alcaraz was hoping for as he nursed a sore elbow but the Spaniard showed why he is considered to be the next big thing in tennis as he toppled Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 7-5 4-6 7-6(3) 6-4 in the Wimbledon first round on Monday.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed an incredible season on clay and hardcourts -- winning titles in Rio, Miami, Barcelona and Madrid -- and he proved he has the skills and mental belief to succeed on the sport's slickest surface.

Despite still being a grasscourt novice, fifth seed Alcaraz did not let German Struff's 218kph hurtling serves or the disappointment of losing two of the opening three sets faze him.

He kept his nerve to fire down 30 aces and produced an assortment of breathtaking passing shots to secure only his second ever win on grass after four hours and 11 minutes.

The youngest player in the men's draw will meet either Italian maverick Fabio Fognini or Dutch journeyman Tallon Griekspoor for a place in the third round.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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