Alcaraz overcomes debutant Lajal in Wimbledon first-round clash

Wednesday 03rd July 2024 07:02 EDT

It’s been an unusually chilly start to Wimbledon, the temperature just about touching a high of 20 degrees Celsius. A stiff wind swept across Church Road and spectators tugged at their wraps and jackets. The sun only made a guest appearance and while the grass was dry, the characteristic pop was missing, slowing play considerably.

On Centre Court where Carlos Alcaraz’ tennis reigned the weather didn’t appear to be a factor. The tennis, like the hairdo on display down the other end, was adventurous to say the least. The defending champion, who rang the bell at SW19, got The Championships off to a sparkling start -heart-stopping spin and touch coupled with unbounded athleticism and pulsating power. The canvas was cold, but the art was ripe.

Alcaraz won 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-2 against Estonia’s Grand Slam debutant Mark Lajal, who had his blonde dreadlocks pulled together in a pineapple style. Just as well for the full-house that the world No. 269, who came through the qualifiers here, had the shots to match his style as he spurred the world No.3 to go for more. Not that Alcaraz, whose play flirts with the outrageous, needed the push. The Spaniard had 44 winners in the 2-hours and 22-minutes on court.
Among the women, French Open finalist Jasmine Paolini scored over Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 7-5, 6-3.

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