Carlos Alcaraz, the defending champion and world number one, has advanced to the semi-finals of the US Open after defeating Alexander Zverev, the top-ranked German, in a thrilling quarter-final match on Wednesday night. Alcaraz won 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 15 minutes, showcasing his power, speed and variety against his formidable opponent.
Alcaraz, who is aiming to win the Wimbledon-US Open double in the same season, was in control of the match from the start, breaking Zverev’s serve twice in the first set and once in each of the following sets. He also displayed his versatility by coming to the net frequently, winning 28 of 35 points at the net, and using his trademark drop shots to keep Zverev off balance.
Zverev, who had spent four hours and 41 minutes on court in his previous match against Jannik Sinner, could not match Alcaraz’s intensity and consistency. He made 32 unforced errors and only hit 10 winners, compared to Alcaraz’s 29 winners and 18 unforced errors. Zverev also struggled with his serve, landing only 58% of his first serves and facing nine break points.
Alcaraz faces Medvedev in semi-final showdown
Alcaraz will face Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion and world number three, in the semi-finals on Friday. Medvedev reached the last four by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in four sets earlier on Wednesday. Alcaraz and Medvedev have met twice before, with each player winning once. Their most recent encounter was at the Cincinnati Masters last month, where Medvedev prevailed in three sets.
Alcaraz said he was looking forward to playing Medvedev again, and praised his opponent’s game. “He’s a great player. He has a lot of experience in these kind of matches. He’s very solid from the baseline. He has a great serve. He can play aggressive. He can play defensive. He can do everything on the court,” Alcaraz said.
Medvedev also complimented Alcaraz, calling him “one of the best players in the world right now”. He said he expected a tough match against the Spaniard, who he described as “very confident”. “He’s playing amazing tennis. He’s very young. He has nothing to lose. He’s already won this tournament last year. He’s going for more. It’s going to be a very interesting match,” Medvedev said.
Alcaraz aims to reclaim number one ranking from Djokovic
Alcaraz is also chasing another goal besides winning his second US Open title: reclaiming the number one ranking from Novak Djokovic, who will take over the top spot on September 11 regardless of the outcome of the tournament. Djokovic, who is seeking to complete the calendar Grand Slam by winning all four majors in one year, is on the other side of the draw and could face Alcaraz in a potential final.
Alcaraz said he was aware that Djokovic would regain the number one ranking after the US Open, but he was not too concerned about it. “I knew that he was going to recover the No. 1 after U.S. Open,” Alcaraz said. “When the tournament is over, I will try to recover as soon as possible. That’s my goal. I am working for that.”
Alcaraz and Djokovic have had a fierce rivalry this year, with each player winning three times against each other. Djokovic won the Australian Open and French Open titles, while Alcaraz won Wimbledon and two Masters 1000 titles in Rome and Toronto. Their most recent match was at Cincinnati, where Djokovic came back from a set and a break down to win in three sets.