The expected finalist from the top half remains Novak Djokovic but there will be plenty seeking to take advantage should the top seed slip up along the way. Among them will be Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, neither of whom have yet to turn 21. Alcaraz leads the head to head 2-0 although neither of his wins have been on the grass.
Despite being a top 10 seed, there has been little fuss over Sinner in the early stages of the tournament. The Italian did not have much of a pedigree on grass before this year with some bad losses on both British and German grass. Something seems to have flipped this week though with three good wins to get this far. The last of them was a surprisingly comfortable one against John Isner, with him not even facing a break point in the 6-4 7-6 6-3 victory.
Just as inexperienced on grass, Alcaraz has had to learn quickly so far this fortnight. Oscar Otte looked the type of player who might be able to take out an inexperienced grass courter but he was found wanting from the start as the Spaniard was utterly dominant during the 6-1 6-3 6-2 win. He hit just eight unforced errors and broke six times overall. “I’m more comfortable to move on grass right now than in the first round, for example,” Alcaraz said. “Every training, every match that I play… I feel more comfortable, and hope in the next round [that I will] feel more comfortable.
Alcaraz continues to learn quickly and his game looks to be translating well to the surface. He has been serving well and has the power to go with it as shown by his performance against Otte in particular. He won’t go missing on the Centre Court stage here, especially with another crack at Novak Djokovic the likely reward for the winner.
Prediction – Carlos Alcaraz in four sets
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About Aaron Higgs
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.