Carlos Alcaraz survived a major scare as the defending champion won a five-set thriller against Frances Tiafoe to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon.

Tiafoe came into Friday's third-round match on Centre Court with low expectations due to what has been a difficult 2024 so far, but he won the first and third sets, before coming within a tie-break of causing a huge upset.

Alcaraz ultimately prevailed 5-7 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in just under four hours to book a fourth-round meeting with either Brandon Nakashima or Ugo Humbert.

There were few signs of the drama that would follow when Alcaraz broke to take a first-set lead, but Tiafoe – who shocked Rafael Nadal at the US Open in 2022 – fought back with two breaks of his own to claim the opener and threaten another grand slam scalp.

A superb backhand winner clinched a comfortable second set for Alcaraz, but 29th seed Tiafoe produced an extremely impressive response, rallying the crowd when he confidently moved 2-1 in front having barely been troubled on serve in the third.

There were no break opportunities for either player in a keenly contested fourth set, but, with the pressure firmly on, Alcaraz produced a brilliant tie-break to send the contest into a decider, then taking his turn to celebrate with the fans.

The Spaniard made a crucial early breakthrough in game three and Tiafoe soon began to realise his opportunity had gone when Alcaraz consolidated his lead with a second break. He sealed the victory with a beautiful drop shot, with his relief and joy clear to see after getting over the line.

Data Debrief: Ten in a row for Carlos

Alcaraz is becoming a consistent grass-court performer and has now made the last 16 or better at Wimbledon for three consecutive tournaments, a run which includes his triumph last year.

The victory also means he has won 10 straight Wimbledon matches, with this surely being one of the toughest in that sequence.

Having also achieved that feat at the US Open, he is the third-youngest player to do so at both of those majors, with only Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander doing so at a younger age.

Despite a difficult afternoon on Centre Court, Alcaraz still racked up some impressive numbers, finishing with 16 aces and 55 winners.