Tennis-Alcaraz set for more favourable stats after making fourth round


Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 1, 2022 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz in action during his third round match against Germany's Oscar Otte REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - If Carlos Alcaraz has the time to watch replays of his three Wimbledon matches this year he will see one statistic flash up repeatedly -- the Spaniard is the only player among the men's top eight seeds not to reach a Grand Slam semi-final.

On Friday's evidence it will not be too long before the 19-year-old forces broadcasters to come up with more favourable stats about his career as reached the last 16 by taking care of tricky German Oscar Otte with a 6-3 6-1 6-2 victory.

He will next face Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner.

Otte had stretched twice Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to five sets in a late-night second-round blockbuster 12 months ago but any hopes of a repeat against Alcaraz on Friday were quickly extinguished by the exciting fifth seed.

The teenager, who had won only one match on grass before this year's championships, appears to have found his comfort zone on the lush grass as he saved the only break point he faced while capturing his 28-year-old opponent's serve six times.

Despite being the youngest in the men's draw, Alcaraz showed his maturity when he handed over a point to Otte early in the second set after the umpire ordered the players to replay it as they had failed to hear the ball being called out.

Realising there was no way he could have retrieved Otte's spectacular forehand that curled around the net post to land in, Alcaraz signalled that his opponent should be given the point.

"With good sportsmanship, Mr Alcaraz has awarded the point to Mr Otte," the umpire said to cheers from the Court One crowd.

That generosity of spirit, however, did not extend any further as Alcaraz produced only one unforced error in the entire second set as he floored the 32nd-seeded German with a stream of eye-catching forehand winners.

The Spaniard wrapped up the contest when Otte misfired the ball into the sky.

"This was the best match on grass I have ever played. I have enjoyed each match I have played here and am really happy to get into the fourth round," a beaming Alcaraz told the crowd after becoming the youngest man in over a decade to reach the last 16.

"Wimbledon gives you special energy so I am trying to get better every day and every match I play on grass."

If Alcaraz beats Sinner and six-time champion Novak Djokovic defeats Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven, the duo will meet in a highly-anticipated last eight showdown next week.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by)

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