Carlos Alcaraz unearths ruthless streak in bloodless victory over Holger Rune

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz reacts as he wins a point against Denmark's Holger Rune in a men's singles match on day ten of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London

Carlos Alcaraz is into his first Wimbledon semi-final after beating Holger Rune – AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

By Simon Briggs, at Wimbledon

World No1 Carlos Alcaraz showed off an unfamiliar ruthless streak last night as he barged fellow 20-year-old Holger Rune out of his path, thus moving one step closer to a possible tilt at Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s Wimbledon final.

If there has been one criticism of Alcaraz’s spectacular style of play, it has been a tendency to lose concentration in the middle of matches. In his eagerness to hit eye-catching shots and entertain the fans, he has sometimes neglected to focus on the primary goal: winning in the most efficient manner possible.

Yet there was little fat on Alcaraz’s quarter-final win over Rune – a 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory that occupied just 2hr 21min. He gave up not a single break of serve in a display that showed a new steeliness.

“For me, it is a dream to be able to play a semi-final here,” Alcaraz told Rishi Persad in his on-court interview. “I think I am playing great, a good level. On this surface, it is crazy,” he said.

He also said that his huge roar at the end of the first-set tie-break had been a great release of tension. He concluded the breaker with a magnificent backhand return of serve that flew up the line, completely bypassing a flummoxed Rune as he charged the net.

“It was nerves, tension,” explained Alcaraz, when asked about his passionate reaction. “It was everything. The first set, it was really tough for me. A lot of nerves. I couldn’t control it at all. Was able to win the first set. The key to turn around a little bit my emotions.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain plays a forehand against Holger Rune of Denmark in the Men's Singles Quarter Final match during day ten of The Championships Wimbledon 2023 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2023 in London, England

Alcaraz was in superb form in his quarter-final against Holger Rune – Getty Images/Clive Brunskill

“It help me a lot that huge that I scream after the first set to put out all the nerves and start to enjoy the moment, to enjoy the match. Smiling for me, as I said a few times, is the key of everything.”

From that moment when he unleashed his emotions, Alcaraz found the fabled “zone” which top athletes spend their lives seeking. He had struck 12 unforced errors before the roar, but there were none at all in the second set, and only one in the third.

This was the first proper senior meeting between two babies from the summer of 2003, who were born within a week of each other. Alcaraz and Rune have been trading forehands and backhands since they were small, but mostly at junior level. They even played doubles together as 13-year-olds at the prestigious Petits As event in Tarbes, south-western France.

For Rune, here was a chance to prove that Alcaraz has real competition within his own generation. It was a chance not taken, however. Quite the reverse: the evidence of this match suggested that Alcaraz has no real rivals at the younger end of the tour, and is primarily measuring himself against Djokovic.

A much spikier character than Alcaraz, Rune did his best to play down the significance of the result at his post-match press conference, suggesting that he had been off colour all day. “Of course a little bit disappointed,” he told reporters. “I didn’t feel the best in today’s match, but I did my best not to disappoint the crowd. I tried to fight until the end.

“This morning I felt a bit bad when I woke up. Carried it a little bit in the warm-up. I had to do everything I could to feel better for the match, but didn’t have the same energy as I normally have when I play. I feel like whoever got that first set had a big advantage. I did my best in the circumstances.”

Although the world’s two best players still have their semi-finals ahead of them – with Alcaraz facing Russia’s Daniil Medvedev while Djokovic takes on the young Italian Jannik Sinner – there is already a sense of anticipation about their possible meeting on Sunday.

Holger Rune of Denmark hits a forehand against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the quart-finals of the men's singles during day ten of The Championships Wimbledon 2023 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2023 in London, England

Holger Rune did not have enough ammunition to trouble Alcaraz – TPN/Frey

The last time Alcaraz went up against Djokovic – in the French Open semi-final five weeks ago – he suffered a debilitating calf cramp that derailed a previously thrilling match. He will need to be more clinical this week if he is to go on and lift the title. And Wednesday’s performance suggested that he knows it.

First, though, Alcaraz needs to get past his semi-final opponent. “He’s really complete player,” said Alcaraz of Medvedev. “I think [fellow Russian Andrey] Rublev said a few times, he’s an octopus. He catch every ball. It is amazing. He’s an amazing athlete. He does almost everything well.”

As he moves towards the business end of Wimbledon, Alcaraz has lessons to learn from his quarter-final. He said last night that his anxious start was down to playing “against someone that I’ve played so many times. When we were younger, we grew up together, same age. For me is not really easy.”

But there are no easy matches at this stage of a major, and the early errors that Alcaraz made against Rune might be punished by a sharper opponent. While his speedy victory had plenty of encouraging aspects – and showed off a new side to him – Alcaraz remains a brilliantly talented young man still learning his trade.

Alcaraz breezes into last-four – as it happened

Table of Contents

07:07 PM BST

Alcaraz into his first Wimbledon semi-final

06:54 PM BST

Moment of magic

It was a high-quality match between Alcaraz and Rune, and this rally summed up the match.

06:52 PM BST

More reaction from Alcaraz

On Holger Rune: 

“It was tough. At the beginning I was really nervous playing quarter-final at Wimbledon, but even more against Rune. Someone the same age as me playing a great level. It was tough to play against him but once you get into the quarter-finals there’s no friends.

“You have to be focused on yourself and I think I did great in that part. The first set was really tough for me but from the second set I enjoyed it a lot. I played my game and put a smile on my face which is the key for everything.

“I screamed that huge ‘vamos’ which helped a lot and showed my best level.”

On playing Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final: 

“We played two times and one was here in Wimbledon. It’s going to be a really tough one. His game suits this surface really well but I am going to enjoy this moment.

“You can’t play in a semi-final every year so I’m going to enjoy this moment and prepare for the match once it’s closer.”

06:43 PM BST

Following in the footsteps of a great

06:42 PM BST

Alcaraz reaction

Let’s hear from the world number one Carlos Alcaraz after his win over Holger Rune:

06:41 PM BST

Final four

We now have our four men’s semi-finalists:

06:41 PM BST

Rune exits Wimbledon

A really great reception from the Centre Court crowd for Holger Rune as he departs. He is only 20-years-old and the Wimbledon crowd will be seeing plenty more of the young Dane for many years to come.

06:34 PM BST

Alcaraz through

The world number one is through to his first Wimbledon semi-final, where he will play Daniil Medvedev.

06:31 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 Rune

Alcaraz races to 40-0 up and has three match points…

He double faults! His serving has been fantastic but that is his second double fault of the match.

Rune then wins another point and it is 40-30. Another match point for Alcaraz…

And that is game, set and the match. The world number one is through to the semi-finals.

06:26 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 5-4 Rune

Rune is now serving to stay in this match. And his fatigue is starting to show with the unforced errors.

What a backhand from Alcaraz and he now has match point. Can Rune save himself? He can for the time being with a really good serve. It is now deuce. He follows that up with another top serve and he has advantage.

And Rune takes the game. He is still in the match but Alcaraz will serve for the match.

06:22 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 5-3 Rune*

This match is seemingly destined for Alcaraz but what a backhand return that was from Rune. It may be a consolation but that was terrific.

That was not terrific from Rune though as he his return off Alcaraz’ serve was weak and poor. He looks like he is starting to tire and Alcaraz is winning the physical battle. And that is the game for Alcaraz. He is just one game away from the semi-finals.

06:18 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 4-3 Rune

You can see Rune’s frustration growing as the inevitable is seemingly approaching. However he holds serve and it is now 4-3 to Alcaraz in this third set.

Holger Rune showing his frustration

Rune’s frustration shows as the end of his Wimbledon journey is nearing – Getty Images/Patrick Smith

The winner of this match will meet Daniil Medvedev, who has just beaten Christopher Eubanks on Court One.

06:14 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 4-2 Rune*

A mis-hit from Alcaraz results in the first point he has dropped on serve in this third set. Rune needs a break and he needs it right now. He is starting to make more and more unforced errors here. But Alcaraz races through his service game and now leads 4-2. It feels like the end is nigh for Rune now.

06:09 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 3-2 Rune

What a forehand return from Alcaraz. He is now 0-30 up. Could this be the break and the match coming closer for Alcaraz?

Rune is not going to give up though as a delightful drop-shot gets him back into the game.

Alcaraz is now 15-40 up. Will he break Rune’s serve?

Yes he will. And you would imagine that might be the final nail in Rune’s coffin.

06:06 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 2-2 Rune*

Some more wonderful serving including an ace at the end of the game from Alcaraz as he wins the game. It is now 2-2 in the third set.

06:03 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 1-2 Rune

Alcaraz is putting some pressure here on the Rune serve. He goes to 15-30 up and if he can break here you feel that will be the match.

But Rune responds to take it to 30-30. And he wins the next two points to hold serve. He leads 2-1 in this third set.

Holger Rune serves during match against Cralos Alcaraz

Rune is holding on, just – Getty Images/Clive Brunskill

06:00 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 1-1 Rune* (*denotes next server)

An impressive response from Alcaraz as he holds to love. Both players have served really well this afternoon and have looked fairly unstoppable on serve. You feel Rune needs a big break and quickly.

05:57 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 0-1 Rune

Beautiful early evening sunshine over Wimbledon. We are ready for the third set. Rune knows he has to win it to stay in the match.

Exactly the response Rune wanted and needed. He wins his service game to love.

05:50 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 Rune

Alcaraz races to 40-0 love up and has three set points. He cannot take the first as he hits the net. But Rune’s return off Alcaraz’s next serve is too long and that is the second set to Alcaraz. The world number one is now two sets up and one set away from the semi-finals.

05:46 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 5-4 Rune

Big mistake from Rune. He had Alcaraz on the ropes behind the base line but he smashes a return into the net. Alcaraz now has a break point…

And he takes it. The first break of the match. That feels like a massive moment in this contest. Alcaraz leads the second set 5-4 and if he holds serve he will go two sets up.

05:41 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 4-4 Rune*

Delicate, delicate from Alcaraz. He has Rune on the ropes and plays a drop-shot. Rune just manages to get to it but leaves Alcaraz with an easy point to win. Alcaraz looks like he is going to win the game to love but Rune’s desperation is rewarded with a single point. But Alcaraz wins the next point to win the game. He has only lost four points on serve in this set.

Alcaraz plays a drop-shot

Alcaraz plays a delightful drop-shot – Shutterstock/Isabel Infantes

05:38 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 3-4 Rune

Alcaraz has gone for a change of rackets but it has not helped him in returning Rune’s serves. Another brilliant service game and a hold to love. At the moment these serves look unplayable.

05:36 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 3-3 Rune*

An ace from Alcaraz in this service game and without losing a point he wins it. His first serve percentage in this second set is around 80%, compared to Rune’s 57%.

05:33 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 2-3 Rune

The serves have been so strong throughout this match. Rune continues that and he races to win another service game with consummate ease.

05:31 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 2-2 Rune*

Alcaraz looks like he will run away with this game but Rune has fought back to take it to deuce. Despite that, Alcaraz holds and we are at 2-2 in the second set.

05:26 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 1-2 Rune

Both players are racing through their service games and Rune does so again here. It is as if both players are resigned to losing against the serve. Not that the quality is diminished as the standard has been very high.

Holger Rune serves

Rune holds serve – AP/Alberto Pezzali

05:23 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) 1-1 Rune*

Alcaraz runs through his next service game to love and a break seems elusive at this moment in time. You feel if one of these two can get a break that would be the set in their hands.

05:20 PM BST

Alcaraz* 7-6 (7-3) 0-1 Rune (*denotes next server)

Start of the second set and nearly an incredible effort from Alcaraz. He just manages to return a ball that goes high in the air. Rune then smashes his return and Alcaraz’s backhand is so close to being in. That would have been one hell of a point to win for the Spaniard.

Rune eases to win the game and the trend of holding serve continues.

05:15 PM BST

Alcaraz 7-6 (7-3) Rune

Some more fantastic points for the crowd to enjoy. Alcaraz is certainly making Rune run around with drop-shots and lobs. Both players are playing at a very high level and to think neither of them are even 21-years-old.

There really is nothing in this game. It is so close. Midway through the tie-break and both players have won 41 points so far. That stat demonstrates the tight nature of this match.

A double fault for the second time in the match for Rune at just the wrong moment. Alcaraz punishes him by winning the next two points on his own serve. He is now 6-3 up and he has three set points…

And he wins the next point and that is the set for Alcaraz. Huge emotion from the world number one after winning that first set.

05:07 PM BST

Alcaraz* 6-6 Rune

Alcaraz has played some brilliant forehands and he has the opportunity to go 40-30 up against the serve. But it is too long. Alcaraz then thinks he has won the next point with a delicate shot at the net but Rune gets to it and he has a serve for the game now. Alcaraz hits it too long again and Rune takes the game. We are into a tie-break.

05:03 PM BST

Alcaraz 6-5 Rune* (*denotes next server)

There has been some brilliant tennis, both at the baseline and at the net. This time it is Rune who gets the better of Alcaraz, who played a drop-shot but Rune deals with it well and wins the points. Alcaraz holds serve and if he breaks Rune’s serve for the first time, he will win the first set. If not, we go into a tie-break.

Centre Court is now bathed in sunshine.

Carlos Alcaraz plays a backhand

Alcaraz takes a 6-5 lead in the opening set – Getty Images/Clive Brunskill

04:59 PM BST

Alcaraz* 5-5 Rune

The crowd are entertained early in the next game by the tweener (shot between the legs) from Rune which ended up in a point for the Dane. Rune races to 40-0 up but Alcaraz responds with the next two points, including an impressive cross-court forehand. He then wins the next point and it is deuce. Rune responds by winning the next two points and it is 5-5. Every service game has been held so far.

04:52 PM BST

Alcaraz 5-4 Rune*

Rune races to 0-30 up on Alcaraz’s serve. Could this be the first break of the match? Rune slips for the second time and Alcaraz brings it to 30-30. A big serve from Alcaraz now puts him up 40-30. And the world number one holds serve. Rune still looks unhappy with the surface.

04:49 PM BST

Alcaraz* 4-4 Rune

The quality of serves has been very high; Rune races into a 40-0 lead. However Alcaraz fights back and is aided by an unforced error from Rune. But he manages to see out the game and holds serve. Every game has stayed on serve so far. That first break will be a crucial moment. Who can steal a march on the other?

Holger Rune serves

Rune continues to hold serve – Getty Images/Sebastien Bozon

04:44 PM BST

Alcaraz 4-3 Rune* (*denotes next server)

Once again Alcaraz holds serve. The quality of tennis on show is extremely good. We are in for a treat this afternoon on Centre Court.

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates holding serve

Alcaraz holds serve once again – Shutterstock/Isabel Infantes

04:40 PM BST

Alcaraz* 3-3 Rune

A slight slip from Rune during this service game. There are some dark clouds and rain around Wimbledon but it looks dry for now. Alcaraz delivers a strong forehand which puts him 0-30 up.

Rune responds though with back-to-back-to-back points to go to 40-30. Make that four points in a row and once again service is held.

Holger Rune slips over

Rune slips for the first time – PA/Victoria Jones

04:36 PM BST

Alcaraz 3-2 Rune*

We have seen some fine cross-court shots already and there is another one from Rune, with a delightful forehand. The standard of tennis so far in this match has been top notch.

To continue the high standard, Alcaraz and Rune exchange some delicate shots at the net. Alcaraz holds his serve and leads 3-2.

04:30 PM BST

Alcaraz* 2-2 Rune

A couple of bad errors from Rune, overhitting the ball, gives Alcaraz a 0-30 lead on the Rune serve. Rune responds by winning the next three points. Alcaraz manages to take it to deuce after Rune overhits a shot that could have given him the game.

Alcaraz hits the net at deuce and Rune on the next point nails his second serve and wins the game to hold serve. Honours even so far on Centre Court.

Holger Rune hits a return shot

Holger Rune holds serve early doors – PA/John Walton

04:23 PM BST

Alcaraz 2-1 Rune*

Alcaraz looks like he will run through his service game but a fabulous cross-court back-hand from Rune and then an unenforced error from Alcaraz gives Rune a chance. But Alcaraz seals the game. It looks like there might be some rain around.

04:19 PM BST

Alcaraz* 1-1 Rune

Mistake from Rune early in his first service game of the match as he double faults. Some really nice delicate shots from Rune early on in the match. These two played doubles together coming through the junior ranks.

A sensational cross-court forehand as Alcaraz was approaching the net sets Rune up for 40-15 and he closes out the first game. Both players hold serve.

04:15 PM BST

Alcaraz 1-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)

A little bit of a shaky start for world number one Alcaraz, who lost the first set to Matteo Berrettini in the last round. Rune has a break point but Alcaraz manages to take it to deuce and then holds on to win the opening game. Rune might feel he should have won that opening game and had an early break.

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning first game of the match

Carlos Alcaraz takes the first game – Reuters/Hannah McKay

04:10 PM BST

Alcaraz to serve first

We are ready to go in this quarter-final on Centre Court. It is Alcaraz v Rune.

04:06 PM BST

How they got here

In the round of 16, Carlos Alcaraz beat Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in four sets 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-3. Whilst Holger Rune overcame Grigor Dimitrov, also in four sets. 

04:04 PM BST

Alcaraz v Rune fast approaching

Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune have just made their way onto Centre Court and will now start their warm-ups. Two exciting young players, not even 21-years-old. Alcaraz is already a Grand Slam champion and the world number one. Rune has yet to reach a Grand Slam semi-final.

03:53 PM BST

Ons Jabeur speaking to the BBC about facing Aryna Sabalenka

“I saw that she won very quick which I wasn’t happy with! She’s an amazing player, hits very fast like Elena so it’s going to be very challenging.

“She’s someone that has been playing amazing this year. She’s number one in the race right now so it’s going to be a difficult match but I’m going to keep this spirit on the court.”

03:44 PM BST

Alcaraz v Rune

Next up on Centre Court is world number one Carlos Alcaraz v Holger Rune for a place in the men’s semi-finals.

03:43 PM BST

Molly McElwee live from Centre Court

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

What a match, and what a way for Ons Jabeur to get revenge for last year’s final loss. Jabeur is a Wimbledon semi-finalist for the second time after going toe-to-toe with reigning champion Elena Rybakina over 1hr and 53mins and scoring a comeback victory.

A quick look at the stats shows she deserved that. Her 35 winners to 18 unforced errors was impressive, and she showed calm and good decision-making when it mattered. Remarkably, she also out-aced the biggest server on tour, hitting eight to Rybakina’s seven.

She also kept cool after losing the first set – even if she was not feeling that way between points. “It should have gone my way,” Jabeur said on court of the opener. “I honestly doubted a little bit. I kept yelling at my coach saying you told me to play like this, look what’s happening. But I kept believing that this was the plan. I think I’m going to write a book about my emotions.”

The crowd were behind Jabeur all the way, but they give Rybakina a standing ovation as she leaves the court for the last time this year.

03:34 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-1 Rybakina

Game, set and match. Ons Jabeur gets redemption. After losing to Elena Rybakina in last year’s final, she comes from one set down to win 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-1. A fantastic performance from Jabeur and a great match. Both players were very evenly matched. The defending champion and third seed Rybakina is out. Jabeur into the semi-finals.

Ons Jabeur celebrates reaching Wimbledon semi-finals

Jabeur gets redemption after losing to Rybakina in the final last year – The Telegraph/Eddie Mulholland

03:30 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 5-1 Rybakina

A fantastic back-hand from Jabeur breaks Rybakina’ serve and she now leads 5-1. Win the next game on her own serve and she will be into the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Ons Jabeur celebrates winning another game

Jabeur just one game away from the semi-finals – The Telegraph/Eddie Mulholland

03:25 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 4-1 Rybakina

Jabeur was under huge pressure on her own serve as she had to save multiple break points and she turns it around to win the game. She leads the deciding set 4-1 and in a great position to win this match.

03:09 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 2-0 Rybakina

A hugely significant moment in this match as Jabeur breaks Rybakina’s serve and leads the deciding set 2-0. All the momentum seems to be with Jabeur now.

Ons Jabeur fist pumps during third and deciding set

Jabeur building momentum in deciding set v Rybakina – PA/Victoria Jones

03:08 PM BST

Molly McElwee live from Centre Court

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

When Jabeur clinched that second set, the crowd went nuts. A lot of them were on their feet giving her a standing ovation.

She doesn’t overly celebrate though – opting for a fistpump and stern look up at her box – as she knows how hard it is to close out a match against Rybakina on Centre Court.

But she has pushed this match to a decider, a worthy outcome considering how high level it has been. Jabeur fully deserved to win that set – hitting just two unforced errors to 10 winners, and making Rybakina uncomfortable.

03:02 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 Rybakina

We will have a deciding third set on Centre Court as Jabeur breaks Rybakina’s serve and wins the second set. What a great match this has been so far and it is going to go down to the wire..

02:58 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 5-4 Rybakina

Jabeur now leads the second set 5-4 and she is one set away from closing out the second set and taking the match to a deciding third set. The Tunisian was one set away from winning the first set and could not take that chance. Can she rectify that mistake in the second?

02:55 PM BST

Medvedev v Eubanks

Coming up soon on Court One is Daniil Medvedev v Christopher Eubanks. You can follow the match on our live blog here.

02:51 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) 4-3 Rybakina

Jabeur currently holds a slender advantage in the second set against Rybakina. Like the first set it is finely poised and both players are very evenly matched.

02:48 PM BST

Simon Briggs live from Wimbledon

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

After the earlier disappointment featuring Jamie Murray, there’s a Brit into the semi-finals of the men’s doubles: Liverpool’s Neal Skupski, who forms half of the top-seeded partnership alongside the Dutchman Wesley Koolhof. These guys are very popular on the tour. I was speaking to a stringer last week who said that, after they won the Libema Open last month (also in the Netherlands), they bought pastries for the whole stringing team.

And another update from around the grounds: 14-year-old junior Hannah Klugman, who is seen as the brightest British prospect for years, has lost 6-4, 6-4 to seventh seed Sayaki Ishii from Japan. She still had a good tournament, scoring two wins, including against the ninth seed. Bear in mind that Ishii is almost four years older than Klugman, so this was still a creditable performance. Earlier, 17-year-old Henry Searle – who reached the quarter-finals of the French Open five weeks ago – scored a comfortable win that carried him to the same stage here.

02:42 PM BST

The winning moment for Sabalenka

02:42 PM BST

England captain Stokes at Wimbledon

Ben Stokes is among celebrity guests in the crowd at Wimbledon. He posted images of himself trying his hand at a serve in a simulation booth at the All England Club. “Just a loosener,” he wrote in an accompanying caption, dismissing any fears he may be over-exerting himself ahead of the fourth Test. Australian Steve Smith, who played his 100th Test at Headingley last week, is also believed to be watching the tennis

02:37 PM BST

Sabalenka wins 6-2 6-4

Game, set and match on Court One as Aryna Sabalenka has beaten Madison Keys 6-2 6-4. That is what you call a dominant performance.

Thom Gibbs live from Court One:

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

All over here and in retrospect the break of serve seemed to rile up Sabalenka. No messing about after that, winning the next three games and the match, despite being on the wrong end of another lengthy rally.  She’s speaking now: “It’s amazing to be back in the semi-finals at Wimbledon, I hope I can do better this time. Thank you for the atmosphere, I know you support her more, but I still really enjoyed it.”

02:30 PM BST

Molly McElwee live from Centre Court

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

That was a tense, absorbing set of tennis, with both Jabeur and Rybakina playing at a very high level.

Jabeur did everything right: hitting more winners than Rybakina, fewer errors and even winning more points. But she will be kicking herself as she served for the set, but a couple of loose points gave Rybakina an opportunity to push to a tiebreak and sneak the lead.

Ons Jabeur shows her frustration after losing first set

Jabeur will be frustrated that she did not win the first set – Getty Images/Sebastien Bozon

As a side note, there was an odd moment at 2-2 in the tiebreak – when the stakes were incredibly high – that the Centre Court crowd started laughing at deep-voiced umpire Kader Nouni’s every word. It kind of ruined the atmosphere, and he kept playing up to it.

02:26 PM BST

Thom Gibbs from Court One

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

A break for Keys and perhaps the pendulum is beginning to swing? After Keys edged by far the game’s longest rally Sabalenka has been making the errors. Now for the first time Keys feels emboldened enough to come to the net more and seems to have the upper hand… Until Sabalenka breaks straight back.

02:25 PM BST

Jabeur 6-7 (5-7) Rybakina

Jabeur might have thought she had the first set when she went 6-5 up and held serve but Rybakina has fought back and she wins the tie-break to claim the first set. A gripping first set on Centre Court.

Interesting stat courtesy of the BBC: Elena Rybakina has won 14 of her first 15 main-draw matches at Wimbledon – a start equalled only by Maria Sharapova and Billie Jean King. And she is poised to make it 15 out of 16 after digging herself out of a hole in that first set.

Elena Rybakina celebrates winning opening set

Rybakina wins first set on the tie-break – Reuters/Dylan Martinez

On Court One Madison Keys is fighting back against Aryna Sabalenka in the second set. Having lost the first set, Keys leads the second 4-3, although she has just been broken by Sabalenka.

02:17 PM BST

Jabeur 6-6 Rybakina

Just when Jabeur thought she was about win the first set, Rybakina manages to break Jabeur’s serve and we will go to a tie-break.

Meanwhile on Court One Keys leads Sabalenka 3-2 in the second set. It is currently 6-2 2-3 to Sabalenka.

02:10 PM BST

Jabeur 6-5 Rybakina

Big, big moment in this opening set on Centre Court as Jabeur break Rybakina’s serve and she takes a giant stride towards winning the first set. She leads 6-5 and now has the chance on serve to win the set.

Ons Jabeur in action on Centre Court

Jabeur just one game away from winning opening set – Getty Images/Clive Brunskill

02:02 PM BST

Jabeur 4-4 Rybakina

After a couple of breaks from each player, normal service on the serve has resumed. Every game at the moment is one-sided; Jabeur wins a game very easily and then Rybakina does the same. No middle ground here.

01:53 PM BST

Jabeur breaks back

Just as we were saying that Rybakina had the first break of the game, Jabeur responds with a break of her own. It is 3-2 to Rybakina.

01:51 PM BST

Rybakina breaks Jabeur’s serve

The first few games on Centre Court were held on serve but the first break of the match comes from Rybakina, who leads 3-1.

Elena Rybakina serves

Elena Rybakina breaks Ons Jabeur’s serve early in first set – Shutterstock/Isabel Infantes

01:50 PM BST

Sabalenka wins first set 6-2

Sabalenka has thoroughly dominated the first set on Court One and she closes out the opening set 6-2. Keys has a lot to ponder.

Aryna Sabalenka during her match against Madison Keys

Sabalenka dominates in winning the opening set – Getty Images/Glyn Kirk

01:46 PM BST

Jabeur 1-2 Rybakina

Whilst Sabalenka is close to winning the first set on Court One, on Centre Court Elena Rybakina is leading Ons Jabeur 2-1. So far the two players holding serve on Centre Court.

01:38 PM BST

Play underway on Centre Court

The rematch of last year’s final between Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina is getting underway on Centre Court.

01:35 PM BST

Sabalenka on verge of first set

Sabalenka is dominating Keys in this opening set and she has raced into a 5-1 lead, one game away from the first set. More rain is starting to come down which has caused a delay. Will the roof need to be closed or will it just be a short delay? It does not look like there is much rain around and the sun is popping out behind the clouds.

After a very short pause, we are back underway on Court One.

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

Thom Gibbs live at Wimbledon:

Perfect vignette of English summer and today’s weather here as two uniformed youths come out with umbrellas as the most minor shower threatens to turn into 2/10 rain. Clouds looming, umpire out of seat assessing, crowd fearing the covers are coming over. Then in a second the sun poked through, the umbrella-wielders did an about turn and Keys was serving again. 40-0 without incident then makes a mess of a backhand to wrap up the game. She comes through with an ace on her next point to much enthusiasm, No. 1 Court clearly favouring the American over the [nationality redacted].

01:29 PM BST

Thom Gibbs at Wimbledon

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

Two breaks down in a little less than 20 minutes does not scream semi-final pedigree for Madison Keys. She has shown flashes of being able to find solutions to the power of her opponent’s baseline game, but generally followed those moments with unforced errors. Crowd here occasionally gasping at sheer violence of Sabalenka’s first serves. Not looking promising for the American.

USA's Madison Keys in action against Aryna Sabalenka

Madison Keys under pressure in opening set – AP/Alastair Grant

01:25 PM BST

Early lead for Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka has raced into an early led in the opening set on Court One against Madison Keys. She leads the American 3-1.

Aryna Sabalenka in action against Madison Keys

Sabalenka is racing ahead in the first set – Shutterstock/Neil Hall

01:14 PM BST

Underway on Court One

Keys v Sabalenka is underway on Court One. There are a few spots of rain around Wimbledon but the roof is open for now. Sabalenka has broken Keys in the first game. A great start for the second seed.

Aryna Sabalenka returns to Madison Keys in quarter-final

Aryna Sabalenka breaks in the first game – AP/Alberto Pezzali

01:08 PM BST

Thom Gibbs at Wimbledon

Telegraph Sport analysis

Telegraph Sport analysis

Afternoon from Court One, where Madison Keys and Aryna Sabalenka are knocking up. Roof was closed when I arrived at Wimbledon this morning but is open now. The odd spot of rain is now falling. You’ve only got yourself to blame, roof-operating fate tempters.

01:02 PM BST

First up on centre court

Preparations are ramping up ahead of a rematch of last year’s women’s final on centre court.

12:55 PM BST

In the presence of royalty

There is a very special guest at Wimbledon today as Queen Camilla is present. What a moment this would have been for the ball boys and girls!

Queen Camilla greeted by the ball boys and girls

Queen Camilla is present on day ten at Wimbledon – PA/Victoria Jones

12:50 PM BST

Jabeur takes on Rybakina

First up on centre court it is Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur v Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina. On their route to the quarter-finals, Jabeur beat Petra Kvitova on Monday in straight sets 6-0 6-3. Rybakina had an easy ride in the last 16 as her opponent Beatriz Haddad Maia retired injured in the first set with Rybakina 4-1 up.

Ons Jabeur arriving for practice at Wimbledon

Ons Jabeur takes on Elena Rybakina in a repeat of last year’s final, which Rybakina won – PA/John Walton

12:46 PM BST

Action so far today

There have been a few results already on day 10 at Wimbledon. In the women’s doubles quarter-finals, Great Britain’s Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden were beaten in straight sets by Australia’s Storm Hunter and Belgium’s Elise Mertens 2-6 1-6. In the men’s doubles quarter-finals, Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos beat USA’s Nathaniel Lammons and Jack Withrow in straight sets 6-4 7-5.

Maia Lumsden and Naiktha Bains in action

Maia Lumsden and Naiktha Bains knocked out in the women’s doubles quarter-finals – PA/Bradley Collyer

12:39 PM BST


Things are hotting up at Wimbledon. It is quarter-final time and all the players in action today can sniff the semi-finals and potentially a shot at winning the whole thing.

12:37 PM BST

Alcaraz v Rune

After Ons Jabeur takes on Elena Rybakina on centre court, Carlos Alcaraz takes on Holger Rune. These two have know each other for quite a while; they first met as 12-year-olds in Mallorca and played doubles together when they were 13-years old at a junior tournament in France.

12:25 PM BST

Jabeur out for revenge

The remaining four singles quarter-finals are completed on Wednesday as Wimbledon moves towards its denouement. The world men’s No 1, Carlos Alcaraz, will again try to stress his title credentials against fellow youngster Holger Rune while there is a rematch of last year’s women’s final between Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina.

Their match in 2022, which ended with Rybakina claiming her first grand slam title in a three-set victory, left Jabeur heartbroken. Both women are again looking like title contenders having reached the last eight without any trouble at all.

Jabeur says she has learned from last year’s final defeat and she is gunning for revenge. The Tunisian said she felt ‘empty’ and ‘emotionally exhausted’ as she processed the painful loss in the following weeks.

“When I picked up the racquet, it’s like I was born to play tennis and I was born to just achieve this dream. I was telling my mum – I want to win a Grand Slam, I want to be number one,” she told reporters. “I’m someone that believes that it wasn’t meant to be [last year], so I cannot force it more than it should be.

Ons Jabeur in practice

Ons Jabeur is seeking revenge on Elena Rybakina – PA/John Walton

“I’m glad that I have this belief, I believe in destiny. It wasn’t supposed to be that year. Maybe greater things are coming after that final. I’m probably going for my revenge. It was a difficult final last year,” she said.

As for Alcaraz, his ability on grass was doubted before this Wimbledon campaign but he has resoundingly answered them. During his first four matches he has proved he is a genuine contender to win the title. Standing in the way of a first Wimbledon semi-final appearance is Rune in a clash of the new kids on the block.

At 20, Rune is also a future star and is looking for a first grand slam semi-final, but has his work cut out.

In the doubles Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden became the first all-British pair to reach the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon women’s event in 40 years and now they have a last-four spot in their sights.

Not since Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs in 1983 have a home team got this far and Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens now stand in their way.

If they were to win on Court Two, they would equal Durie and Hobbs’ achievement, which is not a bad effort considering Lumsden thought her career would be over after a bout of long Covid.

Jonny O’Mara and Olivia Nicholls are flying the flag in the mixed doubles as they are through to the semi-finals, where they will face Lyudmyla Kichenok and Mate Pavic on Court Three.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupsi are also in action in the men’s doubles quarter-finals with their respective partners Michael Venus and Wesley Koolhof.

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