LONDON (Reuters) -Second seed Daniil Medvedev subdued some early fight from Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz before brutally dispatching the talented teenager 6-4 6-1 6-2 to reach the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday.
The 18-year-old Alcaraz, who has enjoyed a rapid rise up the rankings this year to 75th place, received a hearty send-off from the Court One crowd after showcasing his potential and displaying flashes of his shot-making talent.
Yet Medvedev had too much for the youngster and turned on the afterburners in the second and third sets to hand out a punishing lesson to his young opponent.
The Russian, for so long touted as one of the game’s brightest up-and-comers, now has the look of a seasoned Grand Slam contender at the age of 25, having reached his second major final at the Australian Open in February.
He followed that by making the quarters at Roland Garros, where he had never previously gone beyond the first round, and his confidence is clearly high.
Asked after Thursday’s encounter whether his mindset was that of someone who thought he could win at Wimbledon, Medvedev, who has never gone past the third round at the All England Club, was unequivocal.
“Every tournament I play since I’m a junior, I try to win. Sometimes you know maybe when you are, I don’t know, top 60 in the world, you’re just coming up, you feel like maybe I’m not going to win a Grand Slam this week,” he said.
“I was in two finals. We all know we are capable of going far. I think that’s the mindset of everybody.”
Medvedev knows all about being labelled a future star of the sport and in Alcaraz he faced an opponent who is currently turning heads despite his tender years.
Having reached the second round at the Australian Open and the third round at Roland Garros, both on his main draw debut, Alcaraz was bidding to become the youngest man into the third round at Wimbledon since 2005.
There were times when he showed he could go toe-to-toe with Medvedev, breaking the Russian in the first and second sets.
Yet Medvedev had too much power for the youngster, finally putting him away with a backhand overhead to wrap up victory after one hour and 34 minutes.
“Carlos is an amazing player,” Medvedev said. “I was actually even surprised in a way with the first set. Grass is definitely not his best surface, but he was giving it all there.
“Of course (in the) second and third sets, maybe the gap was too high. But I’m sure he’s going to be sooner or later in the Top 10 and maybe even higher.”
Medvedev will next face either former finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia or French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi.
(Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris)