Carlos Alcaraz is a walking highlight reel. Anytime you watch him play, there's a chance of seeing him do something incredible. But during Wednesday night's epic five-and-a-half hour U.S. Open quarterfinal win over Jannik Sinner, Alcaraz made the kind of shot you can't even do in a video game.
The match, which finished later than any in U.S. Open history (2:50 a.m. Thursday), was crammed with phenomenal tennis from both players, but this Alcaraz return is in a class by itself. Sinner had unleashed a great serve that sent Alcaraz racing far to his left and then Sinner challenged him with a slower shot barely going the other way. Alcaraz was past the ball when it reached him, but then he pulled out an unexpected behind-the-back return that you won't believe until you see it.
ALCARAZ BEHIND THE BACK WHAT?!!?!?! pic.twitter.com/ylewLwrqxu
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2022
Not only did Alcaraz return the ball from behind his back and on the run, he was able to then to run in and return Sinner's drop shot to win the point. And he did it all while looking completely calm, like it's something he does every day.
When Alcaraz watched that volley after the match, not even he could believe it.
That point in the second set was just a small part of the match, but it kept Alcaraz in the game and eventually helped him advance to his very first Grand Slam semifinal at age 19. Yes, that's right. He's only 19 years old. He's that young and already has that kind of ability on the court. And he's still growing as a tennis player. There's still more for him to learn and more ways he can hone his game.
If this is what we're seeing from Alcaraz at just 19, few can imagine the kind of tennis he'll play when he's 21 or 22. Is there something more incredible than a behind-the-back shot? With Alcaraz, we'll definitely find out.