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Through to Wimbledon SFs, Alcaraz's sporting day still not done


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With the day's business successfully taken care of following his four-set win over Tommy Paul in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, defending Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz turned his attention to the second important sporting contest of his day: Spain's semi-final clash against France at Euro 2024.

Arriving to his media conference a little after kickoff, Alcaraz was asked first up whether the game was on his mind at any stage of his 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 win over the American.

"Honestly, at the beginning of the match I wasn't thinking about it," Alcaraz said. "Once I feel like I'm dominating the game, 5-1 in the fourth set, yeah, I thought about it (smiling). I thought a little bit I was on time. I wasn't.

"After I finished, I did everything in a rush just to be in time to watch a bit of Spain."

The 21-year-old, who is two matches away from completing the rare Roland Garros-Wimbledon double in the same year, rallied from a set down to beat Paul, No. 13 in the PIF ATP Rankings. Alcaraz has conceded four sets so far this fortnight, having taken four sets to beat 16th-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the fourth round and five sets to run down American Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

During his recent Roland Garros title run, the 14-time tour-level titlist dropped just one set to reach the semi-finals. And last year at Wimbledon he conceded only two sets through the same stage. Winning under duress this fortnight seems to be making Alcaraz stronger.

"Well, we try just to find solutions. For me obviously it's going to be really difficult to play my best tennis every match," Alcaraz said. "I know that there are going to be some matches that I'm not going to find my best tennis even though I have to try to win it.

"I think that what the big three did along their career, they are not going to play [their] best tennis. Even like that, they are going to find their good tennis just to win those matches. That’s what I'm thinking.

"When I'm not playing my best tennis, I'm going to try to find solutions just to be a bit better, just to beat the opponent."

Alcaraz next faces a rematch of last year's semi-final against Daniil Medvedev, who took out top seed and World No. 1 Jannik Sinner in five sets Tuesday. The three-time major winner dropped just nine games against Medvedev in the same match last year, but the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion continues to grow in confidence on grass.

Alcaraz is expecting a tough battle.

"The most difficult thing about facing Daniil, or the most special thing about him, is he can reach every ball. Well, he is like a wall. Every ball bounces back," Alcaraz said.

"I feel like I can hit an unbelievable shot, the ball is going to bounce back. Is difficult to play thinking about that."

Tuesday ended well for Alcaraz, with Spain edging France 2-1 to advance to the final.