Carlos Alcaraz comes through five-set thriller in time to see Spain beat Germany

Carlos Alcaraz had a double reason to celebrate after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and watching Spain beat Germany at Euro 2024.

Alcaraz came through a titanic five-setter against Frances Tiafoe in time to catch the second half, and extra time, of Spain’s dramatic quarter-final win.

The 21-year-old revealed he did not request an early start, “because Wimbledon is Wimbledon”.

He added: “But I was really happy when I saw that I was playing first match.”

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates
Carlos Alcaraz celebrated Jude Bellingham-style (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Real Madrid fan Alcaraz also reprised his Jude Bellingham-style, arms outstretched celebration at the end.

“I have huge respect for him. We’re in London. He is England,” added Alcaraz. “So that’s why. I told him that the big win deserves a big celebration.”

A three-hour 50-minute Centre Court epic was a repeat of their five-setter in the semi-finals of the 2022 US Open, which Alcaraz won on his way to a first grand slam title.

Tiafoe’s performance was remarkable given he was wearing a knee support to protect the nasty injury he suffered slipping over at Queen’s which put his Wimbledon participation in doubt.

Just last week, as he practised, the man mountain from Maryland was notably hobbling between rallies.

Yet at the start of a hugely watchable match he grabbed the decisive break his superb returning deserved to take the first set.

Alcaraz hit back in the second but some odd lapses of concentration in the third gifted Tiafoe two break points, with the 26-year-old taking the first after another exhibition-style rally when the Spaniard’s ‘tweener’ floated out.

Alcaraz wriggled out of a hole at 4-4, 0-30 in the fourth, sealing the hold with an ace and a loud ‘vamos!’.

Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe at the net
The players embraced at the net (Zac Goodwin/PA)

He dominated the subsequent tie-break to take a breathless match into a decider.

A slip on the baseline seemed to knock the stuffing out of Tiafoe, however, with Alcaraz quickly securing a double break and finishing with a drop shot to wrap up a 5-7 6-2 4-6 7-6 (2) 6-2 victory.

The players shared a long exchange at the net afterwards.

“It was just ultimate respect,” said Tiafoe. “Him just saying, ‘it’s good to see you play like that’. Me just saying, ‘I can’t stand you…’.”