Tennis Alcaraz and Medvedev continue to battle at Wimbledon, but Ruud is shown the door | The Mighty 790 KFGO

Tennis Alcaraz and Medvedev continue to battle at Wimbledon, but Ruud is shown the door | The Mighty 790 KFGO

By Shrivathsa Sridhar

LONDON (Reuters) – Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev needed time to get going before reaching the third round of Wimbledon but eighth-seeded Casper Ruud felt the gloom on a damp Wednesday after being knocked out.

Alcaraz came close to losing the first set of his match to Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic, but the third-seeded team came out on top and won 7-6(5) 6-2 6-2. He said he had rediscovered the form that had carried him to the 2023 title.

“I feel the same… It’s clear that I’m getting better and better. Hopefully, if I keep winning, I’ll find the same level as last year’s final,” said Alcaraz, who defeated Novak Djokovic in five sets to win the title.

“I feel like I’m playing great tennis. Physically I feel great. Hopefully I can keep going.”

Medvedev looked out of form early on Centre Court and was put under heavy pressure by world number 102 Alexandre Muller before winning 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 6-4 7-5.

Second-seeded Coco Gauff was also not at her best on Court One, but she managed to control her errors and beat Romanian qualifier Anca Todoni 6-2 6-1.

The American said she needed to win cleaner, despite losing only six games in two matches.

“I think I can be too critical… I think it’s just moments, maybe I missed some shots that I normally would have made,” said Gauff, who now plays Britain’s Sonay Kartal.

“That’s tennis, you always miss a few shots that you would normally make. I try to focus on straight sets and winning cleaner.”

Wildcard player Emma Raducanu set a good example by beating Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2, but for former US Open champion Naomi Osaka it was game over. She was defeated 6-4 6-1 by 19th-seeded American Emma Navarro.

Rain delayed the start of play on the outdoor courts by just over two hours in the morning and Ruud was among the first victims when action resumed, with the three-time Grand Slam runner-up losing 6-4 7-5 6-7(1) 6-3 to Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

“I’m disappointed to lose, but I know what I can do on this surface and I’m trying to be realistic,” said Ruud, who has achieved his best results on clay and hard court.

“I just find it hard. I like it as a challenge and I do my best every year. I haven’t given up yet, but it’s really hard for me somehow, the movement and feeling confident out there.”

Two more Italians will be in action later as world number one Jannik Sinner takes on Matteo Berrettini in a thrilling Centre Court duel.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in London; Editing by Clare Fallon)