Wimbledon: Carlos Alcaraz in action against Jan-Lennard Struff.© AFP

Carlos Alcaraz has been earmarked as a future Grand Slam champion, but on Monday night, he had to pull out something special just to reach the second round at Wimbledon. The Spanish teenage star came back from two sets to one down to beat Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4. Alcaraz, the youngest man in the draw, fired 30 aces and 73 winners in the thrilling five-set win over his German opponent.

One shot in particular caught the eye of fans around the world. During the fourth set tie-break, Alcaraz was trailing 0-2. On the third point, Struff had him on the run, moving him from one end of the court to the other with powerful, precise shots.

Alcaraz, though, like his hero Rafael Nadal, never gave up. And when the German decided to utilise the slice, the 19-year-old put on the afterburners to first reach the ball and then produce an astonishing cross-court pass, which Strauff just couldn’t reach at the net.

The crowd came to life and the commentator too tipped his hat to the Spanish youngster. Alcaraz himself gestured and broke into a huge grin as the crowd roared him on.

Watch: Carlos Alcaraz’s epic backhand winner in win over Jan-Lennard Struff at Wimbledon

“Last year, I played five sets in the first round here as well so this shows how much I like grass,” Alcaraz joked after the match.


Alcaraz will now face Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in the second round on Wednesday.

(With AFP inputs)

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