close
WIMBLEDON:  Britain’s Emma Raducanu celebrates winning a point against Greece’s Maria Sakkari during their women’s singles tennis match on the fifth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. – AFP
WIMBLEDON: Britain’s Emma Raducanu celebrates winning a point against Greece’s Maria Sakkari during their women’s singles tennis match on the fifth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. – AFP

Alcaraz faces piano man at Wimbledon

LONDON: Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz targets the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Sunday against a piano-playing Frenchman, while Emma Raducanu has British fans dreaming of a first home women’s champion in 47 years. Alcaraz, chasing a fourth Grand Slam title, is attempting to become just the sixth man to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back.

After cruising through the first two rounds, the Spanish world number three twice trailed by a set before defeating Frances Tiafoe in the round of 32. “I realize that I’m a good player in the fifth set,” said the 21-year-old. “I push the opponent just to be at his 100% physically and mentally, and play at his 100%. Sometimes for the other player it is difficult to keep at this kind of intensity.” World number 16 Humbert is in the fourth round for the second time, five years after reaching the same stage. Away from the courts, the left-handed French number one can be found playing the piano, a passion since he was five years old.

“I love music. I play a little bit of electric guitar, but I’m better at piano,” he said. “When you play piano, you are only with you. It’s great to have the time to be alone, to enjoy. In tennis, it’s the opposite.” Humbert is one of three Frenchmen to have made the last 16 at this year’s Wimbledon. Three years after her breakthrough summer when a run to the last 16 at Wimbledon was followed by an historic US Open title, Raducanu is making headlines again.

The British star, now ranked 135 after a depressing run of injuries, indifferent form and questionable coaching changes, finds herself with a potentially clear run to the semi-finals. On Sunday, the 21-year-old faces Lulu Sun, the first New Zealand woman in the fourth round since 1959. If she gets through that, a quarter-final date with either Paula Badosa or Donna Vekic awaits.

Raducanu’s win over Maria Sakkari on Friday was just her second over a top 10 player - both have come in the last two weeks. “I’m just trying to cherish every moment I have here,” said Raducanu. On Saturday, Raducanu pulled out of the mixed doubles where she had been set to play alongside Andy Murray. That decision meant Murray’s All England Club career ended on a low note. Judy Murray, the mother of the two-time Wimbledon champion, described Raducanu’s decision as “astonishing”. 

However, she insisted Sunday that her comment was tongue-in-cheek and not a criticism of Raducanu, who had been slated to play with Murray in the last match on Saturday night. “Not sure anyone understands sarcasm these days,” Judy Murray wrote on X. “Pretty sure the scheduling (4th match court 1 with a singles following day) will have played a major part in any decision making.” Sun, a 123rd-ranked qualifier, had played and lost her only Grand Slam match before this Wimbledon.  - AFP

By Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Al-Sabah AAIOT Chairman of the Board of Directors The Arabian Gulf countries are known for their vast oil reserves and wealth, but they are also facing serious challenges such as climate change, water scarcity, and corruptio...
By Abdullah Al-Mutawa In recent years, Kuwait has observed a noticeable decline in public taste, as evidenced by shifts in our cultural, artistic, and social life. This trend poses a significant challenge to our nation’s cultural identity and inte...