Carlos Alcaraz outlasts Jannik Sinner in the epic 5-setter and is in the semi-finals of the US Open

NEW YORK – This was a game that didn’t want to end. Shouldn’t end, you could say.

Carlo Alcaraz and Jannik sinnertwo of the brightest young stars in men’s tennis, traded top quality shots and countless swing swings over five sets in Sterling for 5 hours and 15 minutes until Alcaraz finally got the final point on Thursday at 2:50pm, the final goal in the USA won open history.

It was “only” a quarter-final, no trophy at stake, but just as tight a thriller as this tournament has produced or will probably produce in the future, a tour de force with big cuts in full sprint and lots of guts, a 6-3 , 6-7 (7), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-3 Victory for No. 3 seeded Alcaraz, a 19-year-old Spaniard.

“Honestly,” said Alcaraz, who saved a match point in the fourth set, “I still don’t know how I did it.”

He also used words like “incredible” and “amazing”. There is no exaggeration there.

Alcaraz, whose five-set win over 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic ended at 2:23 a.m. on Tuesday, reached his maiden Grand Slam semifinal and is the youngest man to do so at the US Open has come far since Pete Sampras won the title at 19 in 1990. Alcaraz, who has a chance to rise to No. 1 in the rankings next week, meets at No. 22 Frances Tiafoe of the United States on Friday.

That match started around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday night, easily surpassing the previous mark for the last finish time at the US Open, which had been 2:26 a.m. split over three games.

“I always say you have to believe in yourself all the time,” said Alcaraz. “Hope is the last thing you lose.”

After his much more mundane three-set win over Andrei Rublev In a quarterfinal that ended around 4:45pm on Wednesday, Tiafoe was quite prescient when asked about Alcaraz and Sinner.

“I just hope they play a marathon match, a super long match,” Tiafoe said with a smile, “and they get really tired on Friday.”

The clock was already past 2 a.m Coco GauffThe 18-year-old American, who finished runner-up at the French Open and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the US Open on Tuesday, spoke for all those paying attention to Alcaraz vs Sinner as she tweeted: “This match is insane. I drive to the airport at 6am but I refuse to sleep and I miss this. #Sinner #Alcaraz”

Yet even with thousands upon thousands of empty seats, there were enough that stayed put to sometimes make as much noise as a full house. Both players waved their racquets or waved their arms to encourage fans to get even louder. And of course the fans would agree.

It was a back and forth as can be. The highlights were too many to list them all. Just one thing: Alcaraz won a point after extending a rally by wrapping his racquet behind his back to make contact with the ball. One more thing: Alcaraz fell on his bum and then jumped up to run to hit a backhand that won that point.

After winning the first set, Alcaraz held five points in the second set – but Sinner saved them all.

In the third break, Alcaraz broke to lead 6-5 and served for the set – but Sinner broke to force a tiebreak which he dominated.

In the fourth it was Sinner who served 5-4 to win and even came within a point of winning there – but Alcaraz broke there and ended up pushing what was already a masterpiece down to fifth place.

And in the fifth, after another memorable shot – a running backhand passing winner that just sailed past Sinner’s outstretched arm – to secure a break point and a chance for a 5-3 lead, Alcaraz put a finger to his ear.

He would take that chance and then dish it out. When the end came, Alcaraz flopped onto his back, his chest heaving and covering his face with his hand.

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