“Tennis is like this” – Alcaraz defends third-set lapse against Humbert

Carlos Alcaraz is happy with where his game is at, despite losing the third set 6-1 against Ugo Humbert in their round-of-16 clash at Wimbledon on Sunday

Carlos Alcaraz Wimbledon 2024 AP/Panoramic

Carlos Alcaraz has defended his performance against Ugo Humbert, insisting that he didn’t lose the third set because of a mental lapse.

The Spaniard led Humbert two sets to love, before the Frenchman came out and won the third set 6-1 to force a fourth.

Earlier in the tournament, Alcaraz had had similar dips during his matches, particularly against Frances Tiafoe where he was forced to go five sets against the American.

But the No 3 seed remains adamant that the swing in his round-of-16 match, which he eventually won 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, was more due to Humbert’s play, than his own drop off on Sunday afternoon.

No mental lapse says Alcaraz

“I think I stayed at a really high level of focus during the whole match,” said Alcaraz when questioned whether he suffered a mental lapse in the third set.

“Probably in the third set it was kind of difficult for me. I mean, the second game, 0-30 for me, a few points played with a few mistakes from my side. Then he broke my serve. I think he started to play better and better. 

“Was a certain point that I couldn’t find my good read on the serve. I felt like he was reading my serve, he was reading my shots very, very well in every point that we were playing. It was difficult for me to find the solutions in that moment.”

The Spaniard maintains that while it was a challenging third set, he’s still happy with where his own game is at.

“But tennis is like this. I had 40-0 down in the fourth set. A few serves that I did pretty well. Saved that game. It was kind of I increase my tennis, increase my intensity, and got the win at the end. 

“Yeah, really happy that it didn’t affect me at all, the third set, and the problems that I had in the fourth set and I stayed really strong mentally.”

Next up, Alcaraz will face Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals, with the winner going on to face either Jannik Sinner or Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

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