Carlos Alcaraz needed only a couple of years to go from a 16-year-old future youngster to one of the best players in the world! The super-talented Spaniard has been among the players to beat in 2022 despite turning 19 in May, having already won two Masters 1000 titles and cracking the top 4.
Things have gotten even better for the 19-year-old at the US Open, defeating six opponents and advancing to his first Major final. At 19 years and four months, Carlos is the youngest Major finalist since Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2005, chasing his first Major crown and the ATP throne!
Toni Nadal praised Alcaraz and compared him to his nephew Rafa as they both battled until the last point. Carlos needed all of his fighting spirit to advance to the US Open final after winning three straight five-set matches!
The youngster spent 13 1/2 hours on the pitch in those three encounters, maintaining his focus and stamina and emerging victorious.
Toni Nadal said nice words about Carlos Alcaraz.
Alcaraz defeated Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in three hours and 54 minutes in the fourth round.
The Spaniard lost the fourth set and experienced a break early in the decider. He bounced back and claimed six of the last eight games to advance to the quarterfinals. Two days later, a teenager worked even harder against another young gunman, Jannik Sinner.
Alcaraz prevailed 6-3 6-7 6-7 7-5 6-3 after five hours and 15 minutes, fending off a match point in the fourth set and setting the record for the last US Open final! ! The Spaniard refused to give up and overcame a break deficit in the decider to cross the finish line first and proceed to the first Major semi-final.
They each had 60 game winners and Jannik made more unforced errors. The crowd witnessed 42 break chances and Alcaraz made 11 return games from 26 chances. Sinner won seven breaks and hit the starting gate despite a great effort.
Frances Tiafoe pushed Alcaraz to the limit in the fight for the final, giving it her all in front of her partisan crowd. Still, Carlos delivered a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 victory in four hours and 19 minutes for a place in the first Major final.
The Spaniard took charge in sets two and three and wasted a match point in the tenth game of the fourth set. Tiafoe saved it after a great exchange and took the tie break 7-5 to force a decider. Starting all over again, the 19-year-old delivered three return games in the fifth set to control the pace and walk away from a victory of greater glory.
«Carlos’ intensity and speed is something you rarely see. His game follows the same path as Rafa, he never gives up until the last ball and he has that characteristic intensity,» said Toni Nadal.