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Alcaraz beats Tiafoe to keep stunning five-set record and Wimbledon defence alive

CENTRE COURT — Drop shots, tweeners, ferocious winners and forgivable errors. This was lights-out tennis at its very best and the match of the tournament so far as defending champion Carlos Alcaraz battled back to beat Frances Tiafoe in five sets at Wimbledon.

It takes two to tango, to deliver a match worthy of the popcorn emoji that plastered social media posts preceding it, and Centre Court got the dance it craved as Tiafoe went toe to toe with the Spaniard for the best part of four hours.

Tiafoe’s consistency pushed Alcaraz to a level the defending champion had not reached on grass for 12 months, but ultimately, somehow, the No 3 seed came good, drawing on the experience of his past two grand slam finals that he had won in five sets.

And just like last month, where a comeback sealed the French Open at Alexander Zverev’s expense, here a gutsy 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory took Alcaraz into the fourth round of Wimbledon and extended his remarkable five-set record to 12-1 to boot.

More to follow.

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