Alcaraz, Medvedev reach Wimbledon semis

LONDON   -   Carlos Alcaraz won the battle of the two most recent Queen’s Club champions as the Spaniard edged closer to winning a second successive Wimbledon title with an enthralling 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-2 quarter-final victory over American Tommy Paul on Tuesday.

Paul conjured some breathtaking shot-making during the first two sets and kept drawing roars of approval from the Court One crowd while making life uncomfortable for the third seed. However, any hopes he might have harboured of ending his country’s 21-year-wait for a men’s Grand Slam champion at the All England Club this weekend were eventually snuffed out as the 21-year-old Alcaraz produced the goods on the crunch moments to run away with the final two sets. After being kept on court for just over three hours, the third seed won his 12th match in a row at the grasscourt major when Paul swiped the ball wide. Alcaraz will next meet 2021 U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev for a place in Sunday’s final.

Meanwhile, fifth seed Daniil Medvedev edged out ailing world number one Jannik Sinner in a grinding five-set battle to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second successive year on Tuesday. A strange match full of momentum shifts and lulls was absorbing rather than thrilling but Medvedev did not care as he triumphed 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 on a covered Centre Court.

It snapped Medvedev’s five-match losing sequence to Sinner and avenged his bitter defeat by the Italian in this year’s Australian Open final when he squandered a two-set lead. Medvedev, who is bidding to add to his 2021 U.S. Open title, will face either defending champion Carlos Alcaraz or American Tommy Paul in his ninth Grand Slam semi-final.

“I knew if I wanted to beat Jannik it needs to be a tough match. He’s not any more a guy you can beat easy,” the engaging 28-year-old Medvedev said on court. “It’s actually very tough. One moment I could feel that he doesn’t move that well so it’s always tricky because you want to play more points to make him suffer a little bit more. In a good way. “But you know at one point he was like ‘OK I can’t run anymore and I’ll go full power’ and that’s what he did.”

VEKIC PUTS SUN IN SHADE AT WIMBLEDON TO SEAL SEMIS SPOT

Donna Vekic nearly quit tennis following knee surgery three years ago but finds herself in a first Grand Slam semi-final on her 43rd main draw appearance after the seasoned Croatian ended Lula Sun’s Wimbledon run with a 5-7 6-4 6-1 win on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old, who struggled for form and fitness after the operation, burst into tears after beating the 123rd-ranked qualifier to book a clash with seventh seed Jasmine Paolini or 19th seed Emma Navarro for a place in Saturday’s final.

“Those couple of years were tough,” said Vekic, reflecting on the period after her surgery. “Now, reaching my best result ever at a Grand Slam, I’m really proud of myself, of the work that I’ve done, of the work that my team has done. “I’m thankful to them for believing in me when I didn’t.”

Victory also meant unseeded Vekic became only the second woman from her country to move into the All England Club semis, matching the feat of Mirjana Lucic in 1999. It was not entirely smooth sailing.