Spain's Carlos Alcaraz returns the ball to Denmark's Holger Rune during their men's singles quarter-finals tennis match on the tenth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

London: In a clash between two 20-year-olds, it was Carlos Alcaraz who triumphed over Holger Rune on Wednesday when he defeated the Dane 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4 to reach his maiden Wimbledon semi-final, here.

Alcaraz’s match against the World No. 6 Rune was the first men’s Wimbledon quarter-final battle in the Open Era (since 1968) to be contested between two players aged under 21 and both played with youthful freedom on Centre Court to entertain the packed crowd.

They went blow for blow with their destructive shotmaking for two hours and 20 minutes, but the World No. 1 Alcaraz had the answers in the big moments, becoming the youngest man to reach the last four at SW19 since a then-20-year-old Novak Djokovic in 2007.

"It is amazing for me.It is a dream since I started playing tennis, making good results here at Wimbledon, such a beautiful and great tournament for me. It is a dream to play a semi-final here. I think I am playing at a great level. I did not expect to play at such a great level on this surface. For me it is crazy," Alcaraz said.

With his 45th tour-level victory of the season, Alcaraz advanced to his third major semi-final and improved to 2-1 in his ATP Head to Head series against Rune, having defeated the Dane en route to the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals title.

"It was tough. At the beginning I was really nervous, playing a quarter-final at Wimbledon and even more against Rune, who is the same age as me," Alcaraz said.

"He plays at a great level and it was tough to play against him. But I have said it a few times, once you take to court you are not friends you have to be focused on your side and I think I did great on that part," he added.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev
Russia's Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning against US player Christopher Eubanks during their Wimbledon men's singles quarter-finals at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Standing in the Spaniard’s way from a second major final will be World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev. The 27-year-old earned his 46th victory of the season against Christopher Eubanks, defeating the American 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 in five sets to reach the semi-finals at the grass-court major for the first time.

If Medvedev wins the title, he will climb to first in the ATP Live Race To Turin and set the stage for a three-way battle for ATP Year-End No. 1 with Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz.

On the other hand, Alcaraz is aiming to become the third-youngest player to win the Wimbledon men’s singles crown in the Open Era. If he captures his second major crown this fortnight, the 2022 US Open champion is guaranteed to remain at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.