Alcaraz wins late-night thriller against Sinner to reach US Open semis


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NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Carlos Alcaraz saved a match point in the fourth set before digging deep into the decider to beat Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller and reach the U.S. Open semi-finals in the early hours of Thursday in New York.

The Spanish teenager collapsed on his back after the five-plus-hour game concluded at 2:50 a.m., beating the previous last finish record of 2:26 a.m. set in three matches in 1993, 2012 and 2014.

The 6-3 6-7(7) 6-7(0) 7-5 6-3 victory keeps alive Alcaraz’s hopes of winning a maiden Grand Slam title and claiming world number one.

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“Honestly, I still don’t know how I did,” Alcaraz said in an on-court interview. “The level at which I played, the level of the match, the high quality of tennis.

“It’s incredible.”

Alcaraz put his finger to his ear in the fifth set after running across the pitch to catch a Sinner drop shot and fired him past the Italian to establish a break point, putting fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium on their toes feet.

Alcaraz converted on the next point when Sinner’s shot hit the net for a 5-3 lead, then fired a serve into Sinner’s body on match point to end the five-and-15 contest minutes.

“Thank you all,” he told the crowd.

Alcaraz was a human reel all night, sliding and diving around the court and hitting a sensational circus shot behind the back that set up a forehand winner in set number two.

If the match was a glimpse into the future of men’s tennis, the sport is in good hands with 21-year-old Sinner and 19-year-old Alcaraz engaging in one thrilling exchange after another to the delight of the fans.

“Amazing battle @janniksin!” Alcaraz tweeted after the game.

“You really forced me to improve, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot more matches in the future!”

Sinner struggled to sum up his disappointment.

“It’s not easy to talk now because I finished the game,” he told reporters.

“It was a good game on my side, on his side… the level was high.

“But very, very hard.”

Alcaraz faces American Frances Tiafoe on Friday for a spot in Sunday’s final.

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Reporting by Rory Carroll in New York; Editing by Peter Rutherford

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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