US Open: Carlos Alcaraz beats Frances Tiafoe to reach the final

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Carlos Alcaraz defeated Frances Tiafoe in a gladiatorial semifinal at the US Open on Friday, setting up a title and world number one showdown against Casper Ruud. The 19-year-old Spaniard triumphed 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 to become the youngest male Grand Slam finalist since capture of his compatriot Rafael Nadal. the first of his 22 Grand Slams at the 2005 French Open.

Seventh-seeded Norwegian Ruud beat Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to also reach his first Grand Slam final.

Tiafoe fought on though, saving three match points and recovering breaks in the final two sets.

“We are in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, we have to give everything we have inside, we have to fight until the last ball,” said Alcaraz, the youngest US Open finalist. since Pete Sampras in 1990.

“It doesn’t matter if you fight for five or six hours. It doesn’t matter, you have to give your all on the pitch.”

For Alcaraz, who unleashed 59 winners, it was his third consecutive match in five sets as he closed in on a first Slam and became the youngest world number one ever.

“It’s the first time I’ve taken part in a Grand Slam final. I can see the world number one well, but at the same time it’s so far away,” he added.

– ‘Give it all’ –

“I’m going to give it my all. I’m going to have to deal with the nerves of being in a Grand Slam final but obviously I’m really happy.”

Tiafoe hailed her winner.

“Gave it my all, too good from Carlos tonight,” Tiafoe said.

“Honestly, I came here wanting to win the US Open, I feel like I let you down. This one really hurts.”

Alcaraz saw two break points come and go in Game 7 of Game 1 before having to save a set point in Game 12 which featured a jaw-dropping rally the Spaniard claimed from two seemingly losing positions.

The teenager saved three more set points in the tiebreaker but Tiafoe converted his fifth when Alcaraz committed his third double fault of the 64-minute opener.

Alcaraz saved a break point in the third game of the second set, at one point stretching for a point winner with his back against Tiafoe to earn another memorable rally.

His flamboyance was rewarded when he broke for 4-2 en route to leveling the semi-final thanks to Tiafoe burying a return in the net.

Alcaraz had needed nine hours and 10 sets in its last two rounds, including a quarterfinal that ended at 2:50 a.m. Thursday, to reach the semifinal.

– Saved match points –

However, he looked the fresher of the two men as he raced to a double break, leading 4-0 in the third set, allowing Tiafoe just three points.

For good measure, Alcaraz smashed the American a third time in game seven.

World number 26 Tiafoe, who knocked Nadal out of the tournament in the round of 16, was hoping to become the first American to appear in a major final since Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2009.

He courageously recovered two breaks in the fourth set, saved a match point in the 10th game with a nerveless bunt before claiming the tiebreaker to send the clash into a decider.

It was an eighth of eight successful tiebreakers for the American.

Alcaraz broke for 2-0 in the fifth set only for Tiafoe to come back to 2-2 again.

The American, however, double faulted to restore the lead in the fifth game.

Tiafoe saved two more match points in the ninth game before Alcaraz secured victory in four hours and 19 minutes when their opponent netted a tired backhand.

Ruud will be in his second Grand Slam final of the season after finishing second to Nadal at Roland Garros in June.

“After Roland Garros, I was extremely happy but at the same time humble enough to think that this could be my only Grand Slam final in my career,” Ruud said.

“They don’t come easily. So here I am a few months later – it’s beyond words to describe.”

Promoted

The 23-year-old Norwegian set the tone for his dominance early in the semi-final when he prevailed in a 55-shot rally to convert a third set point in the opening tie-break that his rival Russian called it “crazy”. .

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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