Carlos Alcaraz matches Novak Djokovic in crushing US Open act

Novak Djokovic is the only other man in the Open era to achieve the same feat as the young Spaniard.

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are the only men in the Open era to have reached three grand slam semi-finals in the same year, before their 21st birthdays. Pic: Getty
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are the only men in the Open era to have reached three grand slam semi-finals in the same year, before their 21st birthdays. Pic: Getty

Carlos Alcaraz has clinched a special piece of history after crushing Alexander Zverev in the US Open quarter-finals to match an extraordinary record held by Novak Djokovic. The defending champion cruised into the final-four at Flushing Meadows after a convincing 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win against the German 12th seed.

Alcaraz next faces Russian Daniil Medvedev - who overcame oppressively hot and steamy conditions inside Arthur Ashe Stadium to defeat Russian compatriot, Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. The other men's semi-final sees Djokovic taking on American surprise packet Ben Shelton, with the Serb aiming to seal a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title.

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Djokovic and Alcaraz remain on a collision course to meet in the final, in what would be a mouth-watering repeat of this year's Wimbledon final that saw the Spaniard triumph in five sets. Alcaraz's victory against Zverev means he has now made three grand slam semi-finals in the same year - joining Djokovic as the only men aged 20 or younger to do so in the Open era.

The World No.1 also moved a step closer to becoming the first man to win consecutive titles at Flushing Meadows since Roger Federer collected five in a row from 2004-08. "I try to make the people enjoy watching tennis, watching the matches," said Alcaraz said during his on-court interview.

"I've been trying to do different shots that probably the crowd are not used to seeing in the matches ... That's what I'm trying — to put a show on." The display from Alcaraz - who has a Tour-leading six titles and a 58-6 record in 2023 - was described as "brutal" by viewers on social media.

Carlos Alcaraz crushes Alexander Zverev in super win

Zverev - the 2020 US Open runner-up - could have been excused for feeling the effects of his draining five-set epic against Jannik Sinner in the last-16. While that match lasted more than 4-hours and 41-minutes, the German started strongly after grabbing the first break of the match at 3-3, before Alcaraz turned the screws.

Incredibly, the Spaniard's record over his last four major tournaments currently stands at a staggering 24-1, with his only defeat in that time coming in the semi-finals of the French Open. Having won last year's title at Flushing Meadows, he sat out the Australian Open with injury, before claiming this year's Wimbledon title.

Pictured left to right, Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz.
Alexander Zverev was no match for reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals of the US Open. Pic: Getty

Alcaraz will take on 2021 US Open champion Medvedev in the final four after the World No.3's dramatic victory over Rublev in the earlier session. Medvedev was not happy about playing the match in such oppressively hot and steamy conditions inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, where a spectator collapsed with apparent heat stroke shortly after his match. The 2021 champion complained into the camera while wiping off sweat in the third set: "You cannot imagine, one player is going to die and then they're going to see."

For Rublev it was a familiar end to a slam, made all the more painful coming at the hands of his good friend for the third time and second at the US Open. Rublev has now lost all nine of the grand slam quarter-finals he's contested, with Medvedev also knocking him out at the same stage of the 2020 US Open and 2021 Australian Open.

"Honestly, at the end of the first set I kind of couldn't see the ball anymore. I kind of played with sensations," said Medvedev. "Just tried to go for it, tried to run, tried to catch the balls and he did the same. So yeah, brutal conditions and super tough to win."

with agencies

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