Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars, with the Americans’ fourth seed claiming his first grand slam victory.
NEW YORK — Carlos Alcaraz’s win at the US Open was one of the most epic comebacks in tennis history, with the 26-year-old, who was just 21 when he won his first Grand Slam title in 2017, bouncing back from a tough opening set by former world No. 1 and four-time Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka by battling back to earn a dramatic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (6) win against the top-seeded Frenchman Frances Tiafoe in the US Open semifinals on Friday night.
In doing so, the fourth seed became the first player in Open era history to claim a second consecutive Grand Slam win after losing the 2018 final to Rafael Nadal. He became the first American-born grand slam champion since John McEnroe in 1983.
Playing in his second Grand Slam final on this year, he earned the biggest win of his career, a 7-6 (5) 6-4 over his Spanish countryman Albert Ramos, who is the nephew of former Open champion Jimmy Connors.
With his victory, Alcaraz overtook Pete Sampras as the most accomplished US Open runner-up, and become the ninth man to win the Open and the US Open in the same season (2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2019).
“I didn’t expect to be here, I didn’t think I would get this far. I was very surprised,” Alcaraz, who joined Rafael Nadal as the only men eligible to win back-to-back Open titles after his first victory at the US Open in 2017, told reporters after his win. “It’s a very special feeling and I’m very excited to start the next stage of my career. I didn’t know if I could finish this game or not. I was very surprised and proud.”
Nadal, who was just a couple of hours away from his 42nd major-ranking victory and first US Open title when he faced Alcaraz on Friday, was also clearly not expecting to see Alcaraz emerge victorious, as he described to reporters after his victory as “a great