New York, United States, Sep 7 (EFE).- With an extraordinary test of physical and mental strength, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz saved a match point in the fourth set and sealed an epic victory in the fifth against the Italian Jannik Sinner by to reach the United States Open semifinals after five hours and 15 minutes.
It was 2:5am in New York when Alcaraz won 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 against Sinner, the man who eliminated him this year from Wimbledon and denied him the title in Umag, to meet American Frances Tiafoe in the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career.
The Arthur Ashe Court celebrated Alcaraz after winning the second longest match in the history of the US Open, surpassed only by a duel between the Swedish Stefan Edberg and the American Michael Chang, which lasted five hours and 26 minutes in 1992.
The 19-year-old from Murcia is still within reach of becoming world No. 1. He will do so if he wins the title, but can also do so if he reaches the final Norway’s Casper Ruud falls in the semifinals against the Russian Karen Khachanov.
“Hope is the last thing you lose,” Alcaraz said in the interview at the foot of the field, after being the protagonist of one of the feats that mark the careers of the greatest champions.
Alcaraz’s next opponent Tiafoe became the first player from his country to reach the semifinals of the US Open since Andy Roddick in 2006. He prevailed through powerful serves against Russia’s Andrey Rublev.
Tiafoe, who beat Rafael Nadal in the round of 16, offered a tennis recital on the center court to enter the first semifinal of his life in a major tournament.
The American player, ranked world No. 22, hit 18 aces to beat Rublev 7-6(3), 7-6(0), 6-4 in two hours and 36 minutes of play under a closed roof.
In the women’s draw, Poland’s Iga Swiatek, world No. 1, defeated American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 7-6(4) and qualified for the first semifinals of her career at the US Open and will face Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
Swiatek, champion this year in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and Roland Garros, needed an hour and 53 minutes to beat world No. 8 Pegula.
The Pole has already won 55 matches this year, the best mark of the campaign, and she knocked out Pegula for the third time in four matches, after winning this year in Miami and at Roland Garros. EFE