Carlos Alcaraz begins Wimbledon quest, sends Jeremy Chardy into retirement atp tour


Top seed Carlos Alcaraz wasted little time on Tuesday reaching the second round of Wimbledon, upsetting Jeremy Chardy, who was competing in his final singles match.

Under the roof of Court 1, the Spaniard overpowered the 36-year-old Frenchman with devastating groundstrokes, sealing a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 victory in one hour and 53 minutes.

“I think I played really well at the beginning of the match,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. β€œIn the third set, he regained his level. I was in trouble, but I love to play rallies, I love to play battles, and I’m happy to be playing at a really, really good level. Both of us in the third set. It was really close, but I am really happy to have made it through this first round.

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2022 US Open champion Alcaraz is chasing his second major title this fortnight, and he couldn’t have got his Wimbledon title bid off to a better start, his main scare coming at the start of the first set when he tripped on a slick court Went.

After moving his leg, Alcaraz was quickly on his feet and from there it was one-way traffic, leaving Chardy unable to deal with the Spaniard’s pace off the field. The Frenchman showed signs of nervousness as he committed seven double faults in the first set, but played with more freedom as the match progressed and broke Alcaraz in the third set to lead 4–2.

However, the 36-year-old was unable to sustain any serious pressure on Alcaraz in their first Lexus ATP head-2-head meeting, although the top seed went on to lose five of the next six games.

“The (roof) doesn’t change too much for me,” Alcaraz said. “I try not to think about it. Obviously without a roof, with the sun, is much better for me, I think for everyone else too, but I really have to concentrate. Whether there is a roof or not, I have to show my best level, but I think the sound of the ball coming off the roof is also really beautiful. Playing on the grass is even more beautiful. I think we hit the ball very cleanly and it is very beautiful to play.

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Alcaraz, who holds a 41-4 record on the season, will next face either Arthur Rinderknecht or Alexander Muller. The 20-year-old arrived at the SW19 in strong form, having won her first tour-level grass-court title at The Queen’s Club last month. He is making his third appearance at Wimbledon, where he reached the fourth round last year.

If Alcaraz wins his sixth Tour-level title of the season at the Championships, he will remain No. 1 on the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Chardy’s 18-year singles career on Tour came to an end following his defeat. The Frenchman won his only Tour-level trophy in Stuttgart in 2009 and reached a career-high No. 25 in 2013. The 36-year-old, who is now coaching countryman Ugo Humbert, also won seven Tour-level doubles titles.

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While he suffered blow after blow against Alcaraz on Court 1, the Frenchman enjoyed a special moment when he won his first game of the match 0-6, 1-2 to a standing ovation from the packed crowd. Chardy was also cheered on by his wife Suzanne and son Stone.



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