LONDON: Top seed Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz started his Wimbledon campaign with a win over Jeremy Chardy, who was playing his last ever single’s match.
As per ATP.com, Alcaraz beat the 36-year-old French veteran making use of his destructive groundstrokes to win the match 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 53 minutes.
“I think I played really well at the beginning of the match. In the third set, he found his level. I was in trouble, but I like to play rallies, I like to play battles, and I am really happy to have played at a great level. Both of us in the third set. It was really close, but I am really happy to get through this first round,” said Alcaraz, as quoted by ATP.
The 2022 US Open winner is chasing his second grand slam title. At the start of the first set, he experienced a scare when he slipped on the slick court.
But Alcaraz was able to bounce back quickly and from then on, it was pretty much a one-sided match, with Chardy unable to deal with his pace. The French player hit seven double faults in the first set, showing some nervousness, but played better as the match progressed.
Still, it was not enough to create pressure on Alcaraz, who he was playing for the first time ever. Alcaraz will remain at the top of the ATP Rankings if he clinches his sixth tour-level title in London.
Chardy won his only tour-level trophy back in 2009 at Stuttgart and attained a peak of world number 25 in 2013. He has also won seven tour-level doubles titles.
Meanwhile, British player Andy Murray started his campaign with a grass-court masterclass against fellow Briton Ryan Peniston.
He defeated Peniston 6-3, 6-0, 6-1. Murray, who is a two-time champion in London, showed solid movement on the grass during his two-hour match.
“It is obviously amazing to be back here playing on Centre Court,” said Murray in his on-court interview.
“I was quite nervous at the beginning, coming out I wanted to play well but I started off a little bit tentatively. But once I got the break in that first set, I played some good stuff as the match went on and there were some good signs there,” he said. (ANI)