Carlos Alcaraz, 18, shocks Stefanos Tsitsipas in five-set thriller; Frances Tiafoe outlasts Andrey Rublev
With a tenacity to match his talent, and boosted by a rowdy Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd a tad tired of Tsitsipas’ penchant for taking lengthy breaks between sets, Alcaraz won 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 0-6, 7-6 (5) in just over four hours to become the youngest man in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows since a couple of guys named Pete Sampras and Michael Chang in 1989.
Alcaraz has already been hailed as Rafael Nadal’s successor and he seized his chance on the big stage in superb fashion.
He said: “I have no words to explain how I’m feeling right now. I just don’t know what happened out there in the court. I can’t believe that I beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic match.
“For me, it’s a dream come true.”
Arthur Ashe Stadium witnessed a rollercoaster encounter, with Alcaraz pegged back having led by a set and 3-0 but then recovering from 5-2 down to win the third set on a tie-break.
French Open finalist Tsitsipas had come under fire for the timing and length of his toilet breaks, with Andy Murray heavily criticizing him following their first-round match, and the Flushing Meadows crowd turned on the Greek after he left court after losing the third.
“It was supposed to be my match. Today was a match that I shouldn’t have lost,” said Tsitsipas, who had been the subject of criticism from first-round Andy Murray and others for taking what they thought was too long when heading off court for several minutes for an allowed toilet break.
At the end of the fifth set, with the outcome in the balance, Alcaraz was better.
“You feel like you’re in control and it doesn’t really go your way at the end,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s kind of bitter, I would say.”