Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner have time and again proved their mettle, but they went above and beyond during their US Open quarterfinal battle on Wednesday night. The two youngsters demonstrated why they're rightly called the future greats of the sport.
Sinner came into this contest having won two of their previous encounters, including a fourth-round meeting at Wimbledon a couple of months ago. The momentum kept oscillating between the two players in the first set, but ultimately Alcaraz was the one who came out on top.
The teenager had his chances to win the next couple of sets, but Sinner fought back to force tie-breaks in both sets, eventually winning them as well to put himself in the driver's seat. This was a familiar feeling for Alcaraz as he stared at yet another defeat at the hands of the Italian. But the teenager isn't one to throw in the towel that easily and bucked up for a fight to the finish.
Sinner had a match point on his own serve in the fourth set, but Alcaraz displayed nerves of steel to not only fend it off, but to break his opponent's serve as well. The Spaniard claimed the next couple of games too to push the match into a deciding set.
Sinner once again found himself in the lead as he was up by 3-2, but Alcaraz was right on his tail. The 19-year-old made one final push as he ran away with the next four games to win the match 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-3. The crowd was on its feet as the incredible battle between the two finally concluded.
The two shared a warm embrace after their epic clash for the ages. While it was a heartbreaking loss for Sinner, he walked away with his head held high as he gave it his all. Meanwhile, Alcaraz is into his maiden Grand Slam semifinal and is another step closer to claiming the World No. 1 ranking as well.
The match feels like an instant classic, though it's likely that the Sinner-Alcaraz rivalry will produce more such incredible showdowns in the future. For now, let's take a look at the records set by their quarterfinal match in New York:
#1 Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open, and Pete Sampras at the 1990 US Open
At the age of 19 years and four months, Carlos Alcaraz has become the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist in quite some time. His idol Rafael Nadal was the last teenager to make the last four at a Major when he reached the semifinals of the 2005 French Open.
Alcaraz is also the youngest semifinalist at the US Open since 1990, when Pete Sampras made it to this stage. The teenager finds himself in the company of some tennis legends by sharing this milestone with them. Both Nadal and Sampras also went on to win the titles after reaching the semifinals back then, and now it remains to be seen if the young Spaniard will emulate them as well.
#2 Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner played the second-longest match in US Open history
Sinner and Alcaraz's quarterfinal contest lasted five hours and 15 minutes. While that may seem like a really long time, it still fails to break the all-time record. Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang battled for five hours and 26 minutes in the semifinals of the 1992 US Open. The Swede won the match and later defeated Pete Sampras in the final to win the title as well.
For now, Alcaraz and Sinner's quarterfinal match occupies second place with respect to the longest matches played in US Open history.
#3 Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner's epic quarterfinal battle sets the record for the latest-ever finish at the US Open
Given how the matches are scheduled at the US Open, it's not surprising to witness evening session matches conclude way past midnight. In fact, one might say it's the norm at Flushing Meadows.
Alcaraz and Sinner's quarterfinal duel started a little after 9:30 pm local time. After battling it out for five hours and 15 minutes, the teenager finally waved his arms in triumph at 2:50 am. This now marks the latest-ever finish for a match in New York, surpassing the previous record set at 2:26 am.
Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors' second-round clash at the 1993 US Open was the first time a match ended that late. Philipp Kohlschreiber and John Isner's third-round showdown at the 2012 US Open also ended at the same time. Two years later, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic's fourth-round duel tied the record. All of these are now surpassed by Alcaraz and Sinner's match.
Also Checkout:- US Open 2022 Results