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Alcaraz makes Wimby semis

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz returns the ball to Denmark's Holger Rune during their men's singles quarter-finals tennis match on the tenth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2023. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Carlos Alcaraz stayed on track for a Wimbledon title showdown against defending champion Novak Djokovic on Wednesday as Ons Jabeur avenged her painful defeat in last year’s final.

Spanish world No. 1 Alcaraz was in imperious form as he swept aside his friend Holger Rune 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-4 to set up a semifinal clash with Daniil Medvedev.

Alcaraz faced just one break point in the entire quarter-final, which he snuffed out, hitting 35 winners against 13 unforced errors.

“Honestly, it is amazing for me,” Alcaraz said.

“It’s been a dream since I started playing tennis.”

The US Open champion, who now has 10 straight wins on grass, was delighted with his performance against his fellow 20-year-old.

“I am playing at a great level. I didn’t expect to play at a great level on this surface,” he said.

“For me, it is crazy.”

He said he found it tough at the beginning of the match, especially with Rune on the other side of the net.

“But once you get into the quarter-finals there’s no friends,” he added.

“You have to be focused on yourself and I think I did great in that part.”

Alcaraz is the youngest semifinalist at Wimbledon since Djokovic in 2007 but next up on Friday is a tough-looking encounter with third seed Medvedev.

The Russian saw off a feisty challenge from unseeded American Christopher Eubanks to win 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.

Eubanks, who had shocked fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round, was attempting to become just the third man to reach the semifinals on debut.

The 27-year-old’s challenge, however, fizzled out in the final stages of a bruising, big-hitting contest.

Medvedev said he was wary of the power of Alcaraz.

“If you give him one easy shot, you can be in trouble,” he said.

“There are big chances you’re going to get a winner with, let’s say, Novak (Djokovic) or Rafa (Nadal) — you kind of feel like you can have a chance to get to this shot.”

“But with Carlos, you’re not going to get this one. One shot sometimes is brutal.”

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