Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars at Flushing Meadows.
FROM LEFT, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates after defeating Frances Tiafoe of the United States in the seventh-seeded Spaniard’s US Open semifinal match on Aug. 14, 2018. John Locher / AP
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Carlos Alcaraz was just a teenager when he won his first World Tour championship in Barcelona in 2006. He had only won a couple of junior tournaments before that, and then by coming from behind against the big favorites in the final match, he was off to the World Tour as a No. 5.
Now the 24-year-old is the US Open semifinalist’s equal.
“To be honest, it feels as good as I could ever have imagined and even now, I’m still not over it,” Alcaraz said, looking up onto the first tee at a raucous Flushing Meadows. “To be in the final in such a high ranked event like this, I feel amazing.”
A year after his first World Tour title, Alcaraz is in his second singles final in Flushing Meadows. He won the event in 2016 when he was playing just his second tournament. He played in the final only once over the next four years.
That is, until this year.
In a thrilling seven-set semifinal, Alcaraz, who lost the previous five finals he has played, took a set from American Tiafoe to advance to his first US Open finals. He is the final male player remaining from the 2006 US Open champion line-up.
Alcaraz, who is seeded 14th, will close out his US Open campaign with a victory, something he has not accomplished in nearly a decade