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Alcaraz advances to first Grand Slam quarter-final; faces Auger-Aliassime next

18-year-old Alcaraz will meet Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals of the US Open

Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates after recording match point against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in a third round match on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz is through to the first Grand Slam quarter-final of his young career after a five-set win over Peter Gojowczyk at the US Open on Sunday. The 18-year-old came from two-sets-to-one down to score a 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 win over Gojowczyk in three hours and 31 minutes.

The win made Alcaraz the youngest player to reach the last eight at the US Open in the Open Era. During this fortnight, he also became the youngest male player to beat a Top 3 player at the US Open after his big upset win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.

The Spaniard hit 35 winners and 45 unforced errors in the encounter while Gojowczyk had 30 winners and 39 unforced errors during the contest to continue his impressive run at the Grand Slams in 2021.

Alcaraz qualified for the Australian Open in January to make his Grand Slam main draw debut and reached the second round in Melbourne. He followed that up with a third-round finish at Roland-Garros and also reached the second round at Wimbledon before his big run here.

Understandably, the teenager was delighted at having reached the last eight at a major for the first time in his career.

“I’m super excited to be in my first second week in the Grand Slam, so it’s amazing for me. It’s a dream come true, no? It’s really tough to play these kind of matches, to play fifth sets. And, I hope to play more second weeks, to play more quarter-finals of Grand Slams. I didn’t expect to play quarter-finals here. So I think it’s a really good performance from me in these matches, so I’m really happy to play these kind of matches.”

Auger-Aliassime overcomes Tiafoe in four sets to set up QF against Alcaraz

Alcaraz will next face 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who defeated American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4. The winner will advance to their first-ever Grand Slam semi-final.

The Canadian not only had to overcome Tiafoe’s powerful game but also the raucous evening session crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium to win in three hours and 24 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime ended the match with 56 winners to 43 unforced errors as compared to 41 winners and 36 unforced errors for Tiafoe, who also hit 24 aces.

The 21-year-old, who is ranked a career-best No. 15 in the world currently and has been working with Toni Nadal over the past few months alongside his long-time coach Frederic Fontang, has been going deep at the Slams over the past year.

He reached the last 16 at the US Open last year, at the Australian Open in February and his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon this year as well. Having reached his second consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, Auger-Aliassime has become the youngest man to reach back-to-back Grand Slam quarter-finals since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008-2009.

“It was a tough start for me – a lot of nerves,” said Auger-Aliassime after his match, as quoted by the US Open website. “I felt like I would be able to break back in the first set, but it is what it is. You’ve got to accept it. I played a great second set. Then the third set was almost a coin toss. He raised his level again. I just had to stay strong with my serve in the end. It’s a great win for me and I’m happy to be through.”

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