Spain's Carlos Alcaraz continues his ascent on the tennis scene as he booked his place in the semi-finals of the US Open. He saw out a long battle against rival Jannik Sinner and came from two sets down (6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5 and 6-3) in a match that lasted over five hours and ended at 2am in New York.
Alcaraz now has not only the chance to win his first Grand Slam title, but to also lead the world rankings, and he would the youngest to ever do so at the age of 19.
Sinner was smart to chip away at Alcaraz's morale. The Spaniard, who had won the first set with ease, was struggling to take advantage of his chances in the second. He wasted an incredible five set points that would have put him 2-0 up and even broke his opponents serve twice in the third set.
But Sinner kept his cool and forced the second and third sets into tie breaks, which he won; and the Italian had put himself in comand of the match with a 5-3 lead in the fourth set, and he was just a game away from the semi-final.
Alcaraz was lost and he couldn't understand what was happening. The youngster complained about his tactics and his serve to his coaches in the stand. But he only needed to see Sinner's struggle to close the match to get his mojo back.
As the Italian wasted a match point, Alcaraz went on a rampage, taking the next four games to win his second set and forcing a fifth.
Both players kept their heads for the first four games in the last set, but it was Sinner who first broke his opponent's serve to go 3-2 ahead. He then had the chance to go 4-2, but fatigue was kicking in and Alcaraz ended up breaking his serve to make it 3-3.
The Spaniard then seemed to take his game up a notch and failed to lose any of the next three games that propelled him to the set and match win. It was the most impressive victory in his short career so far.
Alcaraz will take on American Frances Tiafoe in the semi-final on Friday and the Spaniard could become the new world number one if he defeats him and Casper Ruud loses in the other semi-final.