Carlos Alcaraz defeated Holger Rune on Wednesday at Wimbledon. Alcaraz now moves on to the semifinals to play Daniil Medvedev.
Carlos Alcaraz continues to move towards a potential showdown for the number one ranking with Novak Djokovic. If the players meet in the Wimbledon finals, whoever wins will be number one. And they could keep the ranking for quite some time.
Carlos Alcaraz defeated Rune 7-6 6-4 6-4. Alcaraz made it look fairly easy. It also appeared Rune started to cramp up in the middle of the third set. If the match was basically over by that time, Rune’s cramps would have likely been too much to overcome.
Three takeaways from Carlos Alcaraz beating Holger Rune at Wimbledon
Takeaway No. 1: Carlos Alcaraz’s ability to learn and adapt is ridiculous
Remember when Carlos Alcaraz wasn’t that great on grass? That was only about three weeks ago. Then Alcaraz won at the Queen’s Club and he has not been truly threatened at Wimbledon so far. Alcaraz, like Rafael Nadal, seems like a natural on clay, but whether he could translate his game to grass seemed a year to two away. Change that to a few weeks now.
Alcaraz’s serve isn’t always overpowering but his ability to place his serve wherever he wants and to do it so easily has to be humbling to an opponent. It’s difficult to have a real plan against Alcaraz because he can adapt to what his opponent is doing and then beat his opponent however he wants.
Takeaway No. 2: Carlos Alcaraz might have the best touch of anyone ever
It isn’t as easy to do drop shots so consistently perfectly as Alcaraz makes it look. It’s nearly inhuman. But then to have the quickness he does to get to the ball most people can’t and then to return the ball to a spot on the court isn’t something that can be truly learned. Alcaraz was born with gifts most players could never develop even if they practiced the move daily.
Rackets have gotten much more powerful since the 1970s, but it is easy to envision Alcaraz being a top player in any era. His control and touch would allow that. And heck, it would be fun to see him play a match with a wooden racket just once.
Takeaway No. 3: Carlos Alcaraz has no peer close to his ability
Tennis has a lot of potentially very good players. Besides Alcaraz, Rune is a threat to win multiple majors over the course of his career. So might Jannik Sinner (who plays Novak Djokovic in one semifinal on Friday while Alcaraz will play Medvedev). But Rune and Sinner and others like them clearly do not have the ceiling Alcaraz has.
Barring injuries, Alcaraz could get close to 20 Grand Slam titles and is a real danger to whatever Djokovic’s number of major titles ends up being. Once Djokovic stops playing, there is likely no one who can consistently threaten Alcaraz from winning any Grand Slam.