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Not since Sampras – Alcaraz dishes out straight-sets demolition of Brooksby to make last 16

Carlos Alcaraz won against Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday and will face the winner of the match between Croat Marin Čilić, the No 15 seed, and No 20 seed Daniel Evans in the next round

Carlos Alcaraz Carlos Alcaraz (Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic)

Carlos Alcaraz, the No 3 seed, reached the last 16 of the US Open by winning against American Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Saturday. The world No 4, still in the race to finish No 1, had a perfect ride during the first week.

The Spaniard is the youngest man to make the round of 16 in back-to-back years since Pete Sampras did it in 1989 and 1990. He was already the youngest man to reach the US Open third round in consecutive years since Novak Djokovic in 2005 and 2006. Sampras, of course, won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 1990.

This year he has also become the third-youngest man in the Open era to reach the third round at each Slam in a single season, after 18-year-old Boris Becker in 1986, and 19-year-old Mats Wilander in 1983.

“I played amazing today” Alcaraz said. “I would say that it was the best match of the tournament, for me, at the moment. Great level.”

Brooksby was hoping to do a bit of trailblazing himself, looking to become the youngest American man to reach the Flushing Meadows fourth round in consecutive years since Andy Roddick from 2001 to 2003. Last year, as a wildcard, he was the youngest American man to reach the fourth round since Roddick at the same age in 2002.

The 21-year-old looked to have found a way back into the match at the start of the third set, moving 3-0 ahead before letting the lead slip, and he was understandably disappointed afterwards.

Some regrets for Brooksby

“At 3-0, I had a letdown game, which is understandable, but still, I mean, I still don’t believe that should happen,” the American reflected in his press conference afterwards. “But it did, and I don’t think I reacted to that very well. I knew his energy would come back up, he’d be more excited to get back in the set, and I knew I had to stay on top of it and keep competing.

“But I think from like that 3-2 on standpoint I was getting too frustrated in myself for not doing the things in my game right rather than just competing to win at that point, and I knew that’s what I should have done. I didn’t, and it showed in that turnaround there.”

“Brooksby started to play really, really well at the beginning of the third set”, said Alcaraz. “It was really tough, playing aggressive. So I just thought that I had to be focused, to stay playing at the same level. I knew I was going to have my chances to break his serve and stay in the set. I would say he got down a little bit after the second break. Yeah, I make the most of my opportunities in the third set. I just tried to play at the same level and trying to be aggressive.”

Alcaraz, ranked No 4, will face Croat Marin Čilić, the No 15 seed, who defeated and No 20 seed Daniel Evans next. He has still not lost a set in this 2022 US Open. Earlier in the tournament, the 19-year-old Spaniard benefited from the retirement of Argentinian Sebastian Baez (7-5, 7-5, 2-0) and beat Argentinian Federico Coria (6-2, 6-1, 7-5).

Brooksby, ranked No 43, benefited from the retirement of Serb Dusan Lajovic (6-2, 6-0, 3-0) and won against Croat Borna Coric, the No 25 seed (6-4, 7-6 (10), 6-1) in the previous rounds of Flushing Meadows.

US Open, other third-round results

  • Cameron Norrie (7) beat Holger Rune (28): 7-5, 6-4, 6-1
  • Daniil Medvedev (1) beat Yibing Wu (Q): 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
  • Nick Kyrgios (23) beat J.J. Wolf (WC): 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
  • Pablo Carreno Busta (12) beat Alex De Minaur (18): 6-1, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5)
  • Corentin Moutet (LL) beat Pedro Cachin: 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
  • Karen Khachanov (27) beat Jack Draper: 6-3, 4-6, 6-5 ret.
  • Casper Ruud (5) beat Tommy Paul (29): 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-0
  • Matteo Berrettini (13) beat Andy Murray: 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3
  • Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Daniel Elahi Galan (Q): 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
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