Preview: Carlos Alcaraz continues to rush towards world No. 2’s goal | ATP Tour

Former Texas Christian University outstanding Cameron Norrie brought the reigning NCAA title list Ben SheltonHis dream run comes to an end in the third lap Western & Southern Openearns a quarterfinal shot at another streaking 19-year-old, No. 3 seed Carlo Alcaraz. The 2021 Indian Wells champion has come up short in all three encounters with the Spaniard, two of those losses this year at the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells (6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3). and Madrid (6-4, 6-3).

Alcaraz, the only player to win multiple Masters 1000 titles in 2022, has since become the youngest quarterfinalist from Cincinnati Andy Murray in 2006. The teenager will rise to No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings if he wins the title this week.

The Spaniard beats the quarter-finalists on the INSIGHTS: Conversion metric, winning almost 80 percent of the points this week in which he gained an attacking advantage. Conversely, Auger-Aliassime leads in steal metric, gaining 44.3 percent of points from defensive positions. Learn more about conversion and steal scores.

INSIGHTS: Conversion

A healthy one after a long stretch off the field Borna Korik was busy making up for lost time. The Croatian, who underwent shoulder surgery last year, stunned the No. 2 Rafael Nadal on Wednesday night, 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3 followed by a big win over another Spaniard, the 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-2, 6-3. The 25-year-old faces another challenge in the seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassimewho is in his fourth straight ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals after hitting the stage in Madrid, Rome and his hometown of Montreal.

They haven’t faced each other since 2019, when they split deciders in Miami (Auger-Aliassime, 7-6(3), 6-2)) and Rome (Coric, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6 -4).

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No. 4 seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas will be aiming for a third straight semi-final at the Western & Southern Open when he takes on American John Isner, finalist here in 2013 (left to Nadal, 7-6(8), 7-6(3)). The Greek star has a 4-2 advantage in ATP Head2Heads after beating Isner 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in the 2020 Round of 16 at the same event.

It’s been a challenging year for Isner, who was in danger of dropping out of the top 50 for the first time since 2009. But a run to his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals in 2022 should give him just the boost he needs as he heads into the league US Open.

“I love playing hard courts in North America,” said Isner, at 37, the oldest player still in the draw. “It’s tough – I couldn’t play against Canada last week because I was a bit bruised. I’m worried about my knee, but I’ve been able to get good treatment.

“I feel quite refreshed mentally. My family is with me,” he continued. “That actually helps. Putting three kids to bed at night is a bit exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’d rather have them on the go and have them wake me up super early in the morning because it just makes me happy. I think it allows me to play better tennis, especially in tight situations.”

Isner defeated his doubles partner in 10th place Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, in the second round for his first top-10 win of the season, his first since beating No. 7 Rublev in Toronto this time last year. Tsitsipas has a 16-5 ATP Masters 1000 tournament record this season, his best result being the Monte Carlo title.

The American leads Cincinnati’s eight quarterfinalists on the INSIGHTS: In Attack metric after playing almost a third of his shots from attacking positions this week. Learn more about INSIGHTS: In Attack.

INSIGHTS: In attack

It had been half a decade since an American reached three ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals in the same season, a drought-11 TaylorFritz ended on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open. With his fourth win in a row, he becomes runner-up in 2021 Andrei Rublev6-7(4), 6-2, 7-5, the 24-year-old earned a place in the last eight and his first matchup with world No. 1 Daniel Medvedev.

In Indian Wells, Monte Carlo and Cincinnati Fritz has at least reached the quarterfinals BNP Paribas open which ultimately led to his first-ever Masters 1000 title (def. Rafael Nadal6-3, 7-6(5)).

This time last year Fritz was not in the top 40 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, a series of frustrating opening-round losses in Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati weighing on him. He returned to Ohio in 2022 and was a different player in many ways. Last month, the 13th-ranked Californian, whose entourage now regularly includes a trail of Netflix cameramen seemingly documenting his every move, reached his first major quarterfinal Wimbledon.

“Last year I played pretty badly at this time,” said Fritz. “It’s strange because last year I didn’t start playing really good tennis until late in the year – in October [edition of] Indian Wells changed everything for me. I started to gain confidence and play really well. By that point, my ranking had dropped a ton.”

“I just feel like a different player,” he added.

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Medvedev, who is guaranteed to keep his No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP rankings US Open Thanks to Rafael Nadal, losing in the opening round, is at home at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where he lifted the trophy in 2019. All but one of his 14 career singles titles have been won on hard courts, including Masters 1000 crowns in Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris and Toronto. Although he shared the practice ground with Fritz, it will be a whole new experience when he competes in Friday’s semi-finals.

“Taylor is a great player,” Medvedev remarked after his 7-5, 7-5 win over Canada Denis Shapovalov in the round of 16. “We trained quite a bit before the start of the season. We had a session. I think he hit me. I said to my coach, ‘Wow, it can be a good year for him.’ Then he won Indian Wells. Maybe he could have done better in some other tournaments, but he’s a Masters champion. I have to do my best to try to beat him.”

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