Carlos Alcaraz's Stirring US Open Run ends in quarter-finals

Carlos Alcaraz’s breathtaking run at the US Open ended suddenly and surprisingly on Tuesday night when the 18-year-old Spaniard pulled o...

Carlos Alcaraz’s breathtaking run at the US Open ended suddenly and surprisingly on Tuesday night when the 18-year-old Spaniard pulled out of his quarter-final match against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in mid way of the second set.

Auger-Aliassime won the first set, 6-3, and was leading 3-1 in the second set when Alcaraz approached the referee and informed him that he was retiring from the match with an injury.

He said after the match he injured his upper right leg muscle after playing long matches in each of the previous two rounds. He said he started the match with pain and rose to an unmanageable level after the end of the first set.

“It’s really hard to finish a great tournament like this,” said Alcaraz. “I had no choice.”

Auger-Aliassime was as surprised as anyone, even though he had a close-up view of the Spanish phenomenon.

“I was expecting a tough battle,” Auger-Aliassime said in surprise of Alcaraz who, but for a handful of points, played the Canadian almost to a draw in the first set. “I didn’t see it coming.”

Alcaraz entered the match after two five sets, against third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk. Alcaraz wore bandages on the upper part of both his legs, but appeared to be moving well for most of the night. After the third game of the second set, Alcaraz underwent a brief examination with a medical coach, but there was no indication that his discomfort was severe enough to force him to withdraw from the game.

Alcaraz and Auger-Aliassime, 21, played a tight first set, with Auger-Aliassime having only a slight advantage over Alcaraz, who has been dubbed “the next Rafa” – a reference to his compatriot, Rafael Nadal, winner of 20 Grand Titles in Singles from the Slam Tournament.

Auger-Aliassime played an almost flawless first set which included six aces. He also rushed to the net 10 times and won eight of those points, a particularly aggressive strategy against a player known to hit the ball as hard as anyone in the game.

Alcaraz was good but not great, throwing the occasional winner screaming down the line. But he never quite found the rhythm or the touch of the ball that he displayed in his best moments of this tournament, especially during his knockdown of Tsitsipas to announce himself to the world.

Alcaraz was one of three teenagers to reach the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open. 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez booked her spot for the semi-finals on Tuesday when she beat Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, fifth seed.

Emma Raducanu, 18, of Great Britain, will face 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in her quarter-final match on Wednesday afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Auger-Aliassime will face No. 2 seed of Russia Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final on Friday. It is the first time that he has been part of the last four of a Grand Slam tournament. Medvedev was a finalist at the US Open in 2019 and a semi-finalist last year. He lost in the Australian Open final in February.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Carlos Alcaraz's Stirring US Open Run ends in quarter-finals
Carlos Alcaraz's Stirring US Open Run ends in quarter-finals
Newsrust - US Top News
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