Super-sub Watkins sends England past Netherlands and into Euro 2024 final

LONDON: Defending champions Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev repeated their Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday as Donna Vekic ended the magical run of New Zealand qualifier Lulu Sun.

Alcaraz fought back from a set down to beat Tommy Paul 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, while Medvedev stunned world number one Jannik Sinner, who suffered a mid-match health scare, 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3.

Vekic recovered to beat Sun 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 to reach her first Slam semifinal, where she will face Italy’s Jasmine Paolini, who overcame Emma Navarro 6-2, 6-1.

Spanish world number three Alcaraz, who is seeking a fourth Grand Slam title, was broken twice by 12th seed Paul in the 72-minute first set.

Paul raced to a two-game lead in the second set before Alcaraz got back on level terms.

Three breaks in the third set put the Spaniard in front and he shifted into another gear in the fourth, committing just four unforced errors.

Alcaraz, looking to become just the sixth man to win back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles, defeated Medvedev in straight sets in last year’s Wimbledon semifinals.

“I hope to achieve the same result,” he said.

“But he won against Jannik Sinner, the best player at the moment, so I know he’s in really good form.

Fifth-seeded Medvedev avenged his Australian Open final loss to Sinner with a four-hour quarterfinal victory.

Twenty-eight-year-old Medvedev will play in his ninth Grand Slam semifinal.

Sinner, a 2023 semi-finalist, needed medical attention early in the third set as he looked dazed and unsteady on his feet.

His blood pressure was taken before the medical rest period.

“It’s always difficult because you want to play more points so that he suffers a little more, but in a good way,” said Medvedev.

In the tight first set, in which neither player gave up a break point, Medvedev prevailed in the tiebreak after a 33-shot rally.

But he squandered a set point and his game suddenly fell apart, serving up a double fault as Sinner pocketed the opener.

The mercurial Russian leveled the quarter-finals before Sinner summoned the tournament physio after going down in the third set.

After a 10-minute delay, the 22-year-old resumed play and thrilled the Center Court crowd as he bravely battled back to 5-5.

He then missed two set points, allowing Medvedev to take the tiebreaker.

But the Italian was undeterred and leveled the quarter-finals before Medvedev finished the fresher of the pair, breaking in the fourth game of the final set en route to victory.

“I didn’t feel great. I didn’t throw up, but I took some time because I was pretty dizzy,” Sinner said.

Vekic reached the last four Grand Slam tournaments for the first time on the 43rd attempt.

“In the first two sets I felt like I was dying, but I just kept hoping that I would get a chance and eventually it came,” said the 28-year-old world No.37.

Sun, who is ranked 123rd in the world, was playing her eighth match at the tournament, including qualifying, in two weeks and the strain eventually told.

“Maybe if I could have moved faster, maybe if I hadn’t had the cramps, who knows what would have happened,” said Sun, who will break into the top 60 thanks to the All England Club run.

Italy’s seventh seed Paolini, runner-up at the French Open last month, needed just 57 minutes to see off Navarro, the stunner of second seed Coco Gauffa, in the final round.

The 28-year-old, who had not won a grass-court tournament before this year, shot 19 winners to six opponents.

“It’s a dream to be here in this position, to be in the semifinals,” said Paolini, the first Italian in the Open era to reach the last four.

The tournament’s remaining quarter-finals take place on Wednesday, with seven-time champion Novak Djokovic facing Alex de Minaur and Taylor Fritz meeting Lorenzo Musetti.

In the women’s draw, 2022 champion Elena Rybakina will face Elina Svitolina, while Jelena Ostapenko and Barbora Krejčíková will meet in a duel between former French Open champions.

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