Carlos Alcaraz guarantees first time Slam champion
Carlos Alcaraz has made sure that a brand new Major champion will emerge from the men’s draw of the US Open with his fourth round victory over Marin Cilic.
Entering the last 16, three former Slam champions remained in Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic, before Nick Kyrgios and Frances Tiafoe dismissed Medvedev and Nadal each in four sets to leave the Croatian as the last man standing.
Cilic, 33, won the 2014 US Open, but was defeated by 19-year-old Alcaraz 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a nearly four-hour thriller late on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Of the eight men left fighting for the title, Kyrgios and Casper Ruud have reached Major finals, both in 2022 at Wimbledon and the French Open respectively, whilst Matteo Berrettini is the only other former Slam finalist, reaching last year’s Wimbledon final.
Karen Khachanov, Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev, Frances Tiafoe and Alcaraz are all vying not only for their first Major final, but their first semi-final at that stage too.
Moreover, Alcaraz is one of three men still in contention for the world number one spot come the end of the US Open, alongside Nadal and Ruud.
He will top the ATP rankings if he reaches the final and does not face Ruud there, or if he wins the title against any opponent in the championship match.
That would see him become the youngest ATP world number one ever, and the first to top the men’s ladder before the age of 20. He will have to get past another talented youngster first in 21-year-old Jannik Sinner.
The pair have met three times before at Slam level, with Sinner claiming their two most recent meetings after Alcaraz overcame the Italian at last year’s Paris Masters. They only previous Slam meeting came in the fourth round of Wimbledon in July, Sinner winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 on that occasion.
The #USOpen has entered a new era. pic.twitter.com/nEebZAEA1e
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2022
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