Carlos Alcaraz reaches US Open quarterfinal with late-night win against Marin Cilic
Updated: Aug 12, 2016 18:35 IST
In his second Grand Slam quarterfinal in three seasons, Carlos Alcaraz, the No 2 seed at the London Olympics, broke his maiden US Open quarterfinal duck, but it was not his first.
The No 2 seed from Spain, the world No 8, was trailing the No 35 seed and a last-16 pairing of Kei Nishikori and Tommy Robredo 0-3 in the previous round, before bouncing back with a two-set victory at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
(Photo credit: AFP)
Alcaraz played like the world No 2 in the opening set, taking a 5-7 lead but Nishikori and Robredo turned the tables to take the second set 6-8.
That was more like it for the No 2 seed in a tight, tense match.
“Just so happy, so happy for me,” Alcaraz said after the match, which featured 11 breaks by both sides.
“I was down two sets to nil. It was the first time. I lost to Nishikori and Robredo. I was really disappointed. When I saw Kei at the start of the match I wasn’t thinking anything about [the third set], I was just focused on my game. I knew I was going to play really well against Nishikori. The pressure was unbelievable.”
In the match, Alcaraz hit a staggering 42 winners and won 32 of his 36 service points, taking 31 balls to complete a four double-fault double points on his side.
He has never lost a third set in 11 Grand Slam quarterfinals, but even he conceded, it was like a long flight.
“I was ready to play with confidence, but I missed the first two points and I was thinking, maybe I can come back,” said Alcaraz, who reached the quarterfinals at the 2008 and 2013 French Open as well as at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2011.
“But then I was able to serve again and I made a lot of topspin errors and that gave them a chance and I couldn’t find my rhythm. I tried to play like I played in the match, but [I was too] nervous and in the end I