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Carlos Alcaraz demonstrated his champion's mentality in a thrilling five-set victory over Frances Tiafoe on Day 5 of Wimbledon on Friday.

The defending champion fought back from two sets to one down to secure a 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 victory, reaching the high level of play that led to his success last year.

Starting slowly, Alcaraz dropped the first set 5-7, but quickly found his rhythm in the second set, winning 6-2. Tiafoe, known for his aggressive play and athleticism, responded with a guns-blazing style of tennis taking the third set 6-4, putting the pressure back on the defending champion. However, the Spaniard's ability to raise his intensity in crucial moments was displayed in the fourth set, where he won the tiebreak 7-6(2) to force a deciding set.

In the final set, Alcaraz's dominance was evident as he took control of the baseline and played attacking tennis to win 6-2. Alcaraz's record in five-set matches is remarkable, having won 12 of his 13 five-set matches. This is the current record among all active players, including Djokovic and Nadal, which shows his maturity and mental strength at such a young age.

What Makes Alcaraz So Hard to Beat?

In a press conference, Alexander Zverev provided insight into what makes Carlos Alcaraz such a difficult opponent. Zverev highlighted Alcaraz's exceptional court control, stating, "When you give Alcaraz time, he'll win 9 out of 10 points.” He articulated that to compete against the defending champion, players must take the game to him and play very aggressively, much like playing against Roger Federer, otherwise, he’ll hit you off the court.

Zverev noted that merely making the ball in play is not enough; he forces you to take risks and play big, which is hard to sustain mentally and physically over 5 sets. This was evident against Tiafoe, where the American slightly dropped his level in the last two sets and Alcaraz elevated, taking the baseline and playing with a level of aggression that overwhelmed Tiafoe.

Will Alcaraz Go Back-to-Back?

Overnight the Spaniard accounted for Frenchman Ugo Humbert in four sets to reach the quarter finals and a match up with American 12th seed Tommy Paul where the head to head is 2-2.

As Alcaraz advances, the question on everyone's mind is whether he can defend his Wimbledon title and go back-to-back. If he continues to play at this high level, demonstrating both mental and physical resilience, he stands a strong chance of doing so.


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