New York — Carlos Alcaraz And the Francis Tiafoe Take part in a high-profile, high-energy spectacle for a home-and-away semi-final at the US Open – no time passed when it looked like, no ball out of reach, no corner too bold.
single sequence That was stuffed with “What?! How?!” Moments from both men that spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium were on their feet before it was over and stayed there, clapping and cheering, through replays on video screens.
In the end, enough winners went the Alcaraz way, and plenty of fouls came from Tiafoe’s racket. And so it was Alcaraz who made it to his first Grand Slam final – and in the process, gave himself a chance to become #1 at age 19 – by finishing the Tiafoe Race at Flushing Meadows 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1 , 6-7(5), 6-3 Friday night victory.
“It was so powerful,” Tiafoe said. “I mean tennis definitely matches the noise of the match. Making incredible shots, getting, extending points, crazy shots…in crazy times.” “Yes, I was getting angry.”
Alcaraz appeared to take control by snatching nine out of 10 matches in one period and could have ended the evening when he took the match point in the fourth set. But Tiafoe, ranked 26th, saved her and quickly shouted, with some mixed-colored language to emphasize, “I’m putting my heart to the test!” Shortly thereafter, Tiafoe was dictating the fifth set by improving to a US Open record 8-0 in the tiebreak.
However, Alcaraz showed no signs of fatigue despite playing third of five sets in a row, including his 5hr 15min quarter-final win that finished at 2:50am on Thursday, the latest feat in the tournament’s history. He was better when he needed to, playing four of his last five matches.
“I’m feeling better right now,” Alcaraz said about two hours after his victory over Tiafoe, then added, “I mean, a little tired.”
Now Carraz No. 3 will face No. 7 Casper Road For the tournament on Sunday with a lot at stake: the winner will become a main champion for the first time and top the rankings next week.
“It’s amazing to be able to fight for big things,” Alcaraz said.
Both Alcaraz and Tiafoe were making their first semi-final appearances and gave exceptional entertaining performances for more than one set, for just over an hour at the start, and then again for the final part of the fourth and the start of the season. Fifth.
Tiafu, the 24-year-old from Maryland who eliminated 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal In the fourth round, before a crowd of more than 23,000 people including former first lady Michelle Obama, who often asks for and receives more hype. It was no surprise, given that he was the first American man to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows in 16 years.
“I feel like I let you guys down,” Tiafoe said during an unusual opportunity for a game loser to address the crowd in an interview on the field. “It hurts. It really hurts.”
Alcaraz, who is from Spain, is popular around the world and widely recognized as the sport’s future superstar, and is now the youngest player to reach the men’s US Open finals from any country since Pete Sampras won the title at the age of 19 1990.
When Alcaraz advanced 2-0 in fourth place, the spectators hailed him with a football-style song “Olé, Olé, Olé! Carlos!”
“People love to see that guy play, so they get behind him too,” Tiafoe said. “Obviously I would have loved to win tonight, but I think tennis won tonight. I think the fans got what they expected. I wish I was the one who got the W.”
Next, Alcaraz spoke first in English, then in Spanish, telling his supporters that they helped him fight for “every point, every ball” and tapping his chest as he said this was “for my family, my team, for me, for all of you.”
There were many exchanges and unforgettable scenes between Tiafoe and Alcaraz. Someone arrived in the third game of the second set, when Alcaraz saved a break point and held on. Smiling jokingly Tiafoe climbed over the net to the side of Alcaraz, as if shaking hands at the end of the match.
If that semi-final was really over right then and there, no one could complain about the producer. It will last for 4 hours and 19 minutes.
They wore identical jerseys—red in the front, white in the back, and burgundy on the side—and they each had equal long stretches, including up to 6—all in the opening tiebreak.
Alcaraz, who had already saved four set points, offered a fifth by sending a wide backhand, then made converting that hit easy for Tiafoe by double-fault. With the roar of the crowd, Alcars hung his head, walked over to his side seat and hit his gear bag with his bat.
He regrouped and broke to go up in the second set, hitting a pivotal turn where Alcaraz was serving 5-3 but facing a break point. He grabbed a cross forehand to erase that opportunity for Tiafoe, which started a run in which Alcaraz had 11 straight points and 19 of 22 to own that set and lead 4-0 into the third.
As with that forehand, Alcaraz often rips the ball up by giving up – and somehow, also with precision, he targets and finds the lines. He won at least three points from the first set with shots hitting the outer edge of the white paint with no margin to spare.
After one, Tiafoe went for a simple exchange with coach Alcaraz, Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion who was briefly No. 1 himself. Make no mistake, however: Alcaraz isn’t some kind of droopy baseline. He has a varied game across all the courts and showed off his skills by winning points with perfect acrobatics, falling shots and feathers.
Other than that calm in the second and third sets, and in the late fifth set, Tiafoe was also exceptional, having a great time of his life.
“I will come back and win this thing one day,” said Tiafoe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.