In the ongoing US Open, the defending champion, Carlos Alcaraz, maintained his remarkable performance, securing a commanding 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Alexander Zverev during the quarterfinal clash.
This outcome guarantees the presence of three former titleholders in the men’s semifinals of this year’s US Open. Among them, Daniil Medvedev, who is set to face Alcaraz on Friday, and the illustrious three-time victor, Novak Djokovic.
Completing the semifinal lineup is the unseeded American, Ben Shelton. Among these contenders, Alcaraz and Djokovic, both tournament top seeds, emerge as the strong favorites to vie for the coveted Sunday final, evoking memories of their Wimbledon showdown this past July.
Zverev, reflecting on his encounter with the Spaniard, opined, “I believe they currently operate on a level of their own. The others must strive to catch up.
The match on Wednesday remained evenly contested until Alcaraz made a pivotal breakthrough at 4-3 in the first set. The 20-year-old phenom proceeded to assert his dominance, breaking Zverev twice in the second set and once more at a critical juncture, 4-4, in the third set.
Alcaraz sealed the victory after two hours and thirty minutes of intense battle, amassing a tally of 29 awe-inspiring winners. His explosive forehand shots electrified the New York crowd, culminating in a celebration that paid homage to Real Madrid star, Jude Bellingham. Bellingham, in response, acknowledged the gesture on social media with the phrase, “Que maquina! (what a machine!) Keep going mate.”
Zverev, coming off a grueling five-set victory against Jannik Sinner in the previous round, admitted to grappling with discomfort in his left hamstring from the second set onward, hampering his ability to generate power on his serve.
“I believe my most potent weapon was essentially neutralized after the first set,” he lamented. “It’s arduous to compete effectively when you’re deprived of that.”
One year after clinching his inaugural grand slam title, Alcaraz now prepares for his fourth major semifinal.
Reflecting on his strategy against Medvedev, Alcaraz remarked, “In my recent matches against Daniil, I adopted a tactical approach, executed flawlessly. I adhered to the game plan precisely, and it worked well against an opponent of his caliber, like Daniil.”
Alcaraz’s record at the US Open now stands at an impressive 16 wins and just one defeat, placing him in the elite company of Andre Agassi as the second man to reach the quarterfinals three times at the tournament before turning 21.
“I believe I’ve matured significantly since last year,” he observed when asked about his transformation over the past year. “Last year, I confronted my first grand slam semifinal. Now, I’m on the cusp of my fourth.