Carlos Alcaraz reaches US Open quarterfinal with late-night win against Marin Cilic
LOS ANGELES — It began with a long-overdue return to form for Marin Cilic, who fought off a double-faulting first serve that would have seen him lose any match at the tournament.
Then, the Serbian’s early momentum went into reverse as John McEnroe threw a backhand into the net and was sent to the bathroom. He came out a minute later, serving for the set, and began to serve out of his mind.
He broke back immediately and served out the match at 4-2, as Fernando Verdasco lost his first rubber in a quarterfinal since 2007. It was the first time since 2009 that a winner of the US Open had not won the final after the final had been played.
Marin Cilic’s victory means he faces Germany’s Robert Lindstedt in a semifinal that will be played under bright late-night lights in Los Angeles. Cilic is seeded second and Lindstedt is seeded sixth in the men’s draw at the US Open, where the US will host its next meeting with China on Sunday.
“I’ll never regret anything. That’s what it’s about,” Cilic said. “The whole tournament has been an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much over the last couple of years.”
Cilic’s tournament was a rare one for second serve winner. He won matches on his forehand, which hasn’t been a problem for him in his most recent US Open. Cilic also had his best service game of the tournament, serving out of his own end at the beginning of the third set.
He has always been able to find a way to win a match against the world No. 8. He won the Australian Open and French Open two years ago and lost in the final at the US Open in 2010. C