On paper it was clear: number 6 in the world against number 163. But outsider Jan-Lennard Struff (32) lost to tennis prodigy Carlos Alcaraz (19) in the 1st round of Wimbledon just 6: 4, 5: 7, 6:4, 6:7, 4:6.
After 4:10 hours, the Spaniard converted his second match point after the Warsteiner’s return sailed wide. But what hadn’t Struff tried! His big plus: the strong serve. The favorite was powerless against him for a long time.
The fact that both players only managed two breaks shows how close it was. But Alcaraz, who wants to reach the semi-finals for the first time in a Grand Slam tournament, finally won the decisive balls.
Struff’s strong performance came as a surprise, as he had been out of action since March due to a broken toe and therefore missed the French Open. He didn’t get back in until the grass season, but only won one of five matches.
The appearance on Court 1 in Wimbledon was by far the best since his comeback in Stuttgart. As the pouring rain drummed loudly on the roof at the beginning, there was a very special atmosphere. There were even German fans in the stands who wished the injured Alexander Zverev (25) a speedy recovery on their T-shirts.
She and many other spectators carried both players away with some great shots. Alcaraz shone with almost unbelievable balls from impossible angles, Struff didn’t have to be asked twice and answered in the same way.
“data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/jung-star-carlos-alcaraz-hatte-gilt-als-coming-man-im-welt-tennis-ea66c500891c473b9f5fb661e7e239c4-80532404/Bild/ 2.image.jpg”/> Young star Carlos Alcaraz is considered the next man in world tennisPhoto: SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP
Young star Carlos Alcaraz is considered the next man in world tennisPhoto: SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP
The fact that Alcaraz, last year’s climber, had better nerves shows that he always landed his two breaks at the end of the sentence. He served two of his 30 aces in the fourth-round tie-breaker. Those were the basis for the set equalization. Struff also beat their 23; but that wasn’t enough that evening.
Next up is Maximilian Marterer (27) from Nuremberg, who defeated Slovenian Aljaz Bedene (32) 4:6, 7:5, 6:4, 7:5. The next opponent on Wednesday is the American Frances Tiafoe (24).
Jule Niemeier (22) from Dortmund only had problems with the Chinese Xiyu Wang (21) at 6: 1, 6: 4 towards the end of the second set. She is now playing against world number three Anett Kontaveit (26/Estonia), who is coached by Angelique Kerber’s ex-coach Torben Beltz (45).