American dream … denied: Alcaraz rallies to defeat Tiafoe in thriller

Frances Tiafoe in action against Carlos Alcaraz (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London. Picture date: Friday July 5, 2024. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Frances Tiafoe lost a five-set match to Carlos Alcaraz for the second time in two years. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Whenever Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe match up, it’s a battle. Thursday at Wimbledon’s center court was no exception.

Alcarez, the No. 3 seed, avoided an upset loss and becoming the highest men’s seed to lose so far at Wimbledon, rallying to defeat Tiafoe 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.

For Tiafoe, the No. 29 seed, the win over Alcaraz would have been the biggest win in his career and another impressive win for an American at the 2024 tournament. Alas, it’s the second time in two years that he’s lost a five-set match to Alcarez. The two players previously played a five-set match at the 2022 U.S. Open with Alcaraz prevailing 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.

Alvarez forced a must-win tiebreak in the fourth set, finally catching up with Tiafoe’s serve after having difficulty with it throughout the match.

Rallying after losing two of the first three sets appeared to have worn out Tiafoe, who had little left for the deciding fifth set. Meanwhile, the crowd at Center Court – which included Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes – seemed to give Alcarez a boost with its boisterous support.

History was certainly on Alcarez’s side once the match went to a fifth set. The Spaniard is 12-1 for his career in five-set matches and has won his last nine.

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