NEW YORK – After five sets and a new marathon of four hours and 19 minutes, Spanish Carlos Alcaraz once again unleashed his competitive spirit this Friday with a 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1 victory over American Frances Tiafo. defeated. , 6-7(5) and 6-3 and qualify for the final of the US Open against Norwegian Casper Rood, in a duel that will stake New York’s glory and first place in the world rankings.
At the age of 19 and with two Masters 1,000 titles already in his showcase, Alcarz is one game away from skyrocketing the first ‘Grand Slam’ of his career, having overtaken Tiafo, who was the Spanish Rafa Nadal. defeated to reach the semi-finals. and Russian Andrey Rublev.
Mercian, who won his last three matches in New York in five sets, could become the youngest US Open champion since American Pete Sampras did so in 1990 at 19 years and a month.
Whoever wins the final this Sunday will overtake Russian Daniil Medvedev and be the new number one in the world, Alcarz who will move up three places in the rankings and Ruud who climbs six, a record.
an unstoppable development
Last year, Alcaraz’s career has seen a vertical rise since falling in straight sets against Tiafo at the Barcelona tournament. Mercian is living a dream 2022 season, in which he has won four titles, two of them in the Masters 1,000 in Miami and Madrid, and has certainly established himself as a present and future star of tennis.
Montreal went to elimination in the first round of the tournament, when for the first time they felt the pressure of being one of the favourites. Alcaraz has learned from that lesson and has shown the best version of himself in New York, with high quality, powerful and superb tennis, showing he knows how to raise the level when tension mounts.
The semi-finals were played at Arthur Ashe in a lively atmosphere, with most of the audience, including former US First Lady Michelle Obama, dedicated to the local Tiafo, but also appreciative of Alcaraz, whose play, style and character inspired the new. had won. York.
However, there was no shortage of brilliant athletic moves, such as when, at 5-6 in the first set, he forced the tiebreaker by playing three unreachable balls and sealed the point with a back-running forehand that celebrated A goal has been reached. in the stadium.
TIAFOE, 8 out of 8 in tiebreaker
Without a break, the first set was settled in a tiebreaker, which was confirmed as problematic for Alcarz. He lost both matches he played against Sinner in the quarter-finals and, despite recovering 6–3, he made an error and a double fault that cost him the loss of the set.
But, as happened before Sinner, Alkraj’s reaction was not long in coming. Leading 3-2, he converted his break point opportunity to 6-3, saving Tifo’s body with a backhand that ended after he brushed Mercian’s head.
It was a turning point in the match and, after disappointing Tiafo, Alcarz did not stop stepping on the accelerator, by canceling a ball to recover the ‘break’ at 4–3.
With two consecutive breaks in the third quarter, Alcarz escaped 4–0 within minutes and proved his dominance with 6–1 by getting another ‘break’ in the seventh game. They also broke up twice before stopping in the fourth set.
It was then, with 6-5 in the light, that Alcarz served his first match point of the night with his opponent.
Tiafo canceled it out with an excellent drop shot and forced a tiebreaker in which he confirmed his solid numbers. He won eight of the eight this year and took it 7-5 to force another deciding set.
ALCARAZ, a marathon expert
But if Tiafo shines in the tiebreak, Alcaraz’s numbers in the fifth set are staggering with eight wins and only one loss. The American had a balance of 4-11.
Despite wasting an early break, Alcarz managed another Lovelace at 2-2, propelled by a wonderful lob that left Arthur Ashe’s mouth.
It was time to finish and this time, Mercian did it impeccably. He consolidated the break, loving his serve for 4-2 and 5-3, before sealing the ticket for the win and the final.
This Sunday will be his double date with history, winning his first ‘big’ and officially becoming number one in the world rankings.