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Carlos Alcaraz becomes part of US Open history, upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas

/ 03:45 PM September 04, 2021
 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain reacts after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (not pictured) on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain reacts after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (not pictured) on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Alcaraz is just 18 years old and already owns a milestone victory for the ages.

The Spaniard loaded up with 61 winners and notched the biggest upset of this year’s U.S. Open thus far with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 0-6, 7-6 (5) victory over No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in an epic battle that lasted four hours and six minutes.

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Alcaraz becomes the youngest male to reach the round of 16 at the U.S. Open since 1989 when Michael Chang (17) and Pete Sampras (18) both advanced that far.

“This victory means a lot to me. It’s the best match of my career, and the best win,” Alcaraz said in a courtside television interview. “Beating Stefanos Tsitsipas is a dream come true. It’s very special for me.”

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Alcaraz will face Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk for a spot in the quarterfinals. Gojowczyk advanced with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 win over Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen.

Alcaraz won two of the first three sets but looked to be in trouble when Tsitsipas swept the fourth set in just 27 minutes.

Tsitsipas led 5-4 and 6-5 in the fifth set but Alcaraz kept pushing and forced the tiebreak. He controlled the tiebreak and eventually had three match points, losing the first two before sealing a victory that thrilled the crowd that was boisterously cheering him on.

“(His) ball speed was incredible. I’ve never seen someone hit the ball so hard,” Tsitsipas said. “Took time to adjust. Took time to kind of develop my game around his game style.”

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Tsitsipas drew the ire of crowd, apparently partly due to his recent controversial use of long bathroom breaks during matches. He had 15 aces among 47 winners and committed 38 unforced errors. Alcaraz had 48 unforced errors and two aces.

In other play, second-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev recorded nine aces while rolling to a 6-0, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Pablo Andujar of Spain.

Medvedev had 34 winners and 28 unforced errors in the easy win. Andujar had 16 winners and 43 unforced errors.

“Always great to finish in straight sets,” Medvedev said. “The more matches you can win in straight sets the better. Second and third sets were much tighter, a lot of long rallies. I am happy with my level, happy with everything.”

Medvedev will next face 24th-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain.

Evans had 48 winners and just eight unforced errors but had to overcome a two-set deficit before prevailing 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (1) over Alexei Popyrin of Australia. Popyrin had 77 winners and 57 unforced errors.

No. 11 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina notched a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Slovakia’s Alex Molcan.

Schwartzman will next face Botic Van de Zandschulp after the native of the Netherlands produced a 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis.

No. 12 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada edged No. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3. In the final match of the night, which extended past 2 a.m. local time, the United States’ Frances Tiafoe upset fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1. Rublev had a set point in the third-set tiebreaker but couldn’t take advantage.

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TAGS: Carlos Alcaraz, Grand Slam, Stefanos Tsitsipas, US Open
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