US Open: Alcaraz fights back from match point down to edge Sinner in five-hour thriller

·2-min read

Carlos Alcaraz survived a Jannik Sinner match point before going on to clinch his maiden grand slam semi-final berth with an epic five-set victory in more than five hours at the US Open.

The Spanish third seed triumphed 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-7 (0-7) 7-5 6-3 in the latest-ever finish at the US Open, officially ending at 2:50am Thursday local time.

The match was within nine minutes of being the longest ever in US Open history, the record held by Michael Chang and Stefan Edberg from 1992 of five hours and 26 minutes.

The 19-year-old fought back from a Sinner match point in the fourth set, rallying to force a fifth, where he broke the Italian 11th seed in the eighth game before serving it out for victory.

Alcaraz blew opportunities too, including five set points in the second set, while he failed to serve out the third set before Sinner won the tie-break 7-0 to take all the momentum into the fourth.

But the emerging Alcaraz showcased his doggedness even after falling a break behind in the fourth, to set up a semi-final date against 22nd seed Frances Tiafoe, who has beaten Andrey Rublev and Rafael Nadal in his past two matches.

The win also means Alcaraz is a step closer to claiming the world number one ranking for the first time, which will be achieved if he wins the title, or even if he makes the final and fifth seed Casper Ruud does not.

Data slam: Alcaraz cannot help Nadal comparisons

Alcaraz, 19, is not fond of comparisons to compatriot Rafael Nadal, but his victory means he becomes the youngest grand slam semi-finalist since the 22-time major winner in 2005.

Little separated Alcaraz and Sinner who will both have won huge admiration, but the Italian's 63 unforced errors compared to the Spaniard's 38 was an outlier.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Alcaraz – 5/5
Sinner – 8/11

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Alcaraz – 58/38
Sinner – 61/63

BREAK POINTS WON

Alcaraz – 11/26
Sinner – 7/16