Carlos Alcaraz | AFP
New York: Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz stormed into the semi-finals of the US Open on Thursday after defeating Jannik Sinner in a five-set hard-fought thrilling clash.
In a classic encounter that broke the record for the latest finish in tournament history when play ended at 2:50 a.m, Alcaraz outlasted Sinner 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-3 in a match that lasted more than five hours and 15-minute. The battle was the second-longest match in US Open history.
The 19-year-old will face American Frances Tiafoe on Friday in the semi-finals.
Sinner, who hit 11 double faults in the match, served for his place in the semi-final at 5-4 in the fourth set. Although his serve got him out of some trouble, Alcaraz never went away and again battled back onto even terms.
The 21-year-old Sinner then led by a break in the third set, but Alcaraz never went away, continuing to fire with his remarkable power from the baseline. The Spaniard won the final four games of the clash to advance.
"Honestly, I still don't know how I did it. You have to believe in yourself. I believed in my game. It was really difficult to close out the match. I tried to stay calm, but it is difficult in the moment," Alcaraz said in an on-court interview.
Earlier, the 27th seed Karen Khachanov fought 31 aces en route to a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 triumph in three hours, 39 minutes over Nick Kyrgios after earlier coming within two points of victory in the fourth set.
"I did it! I did it!. I'm really proud of myself, I was focused from the beginning to the end. It was a crazy match but I came ready to fight and to play five sets," ATP.com quoted Khachanov as saying.
"From the beginning until the end, great performance - at least I will talk about myself, from my side," Khachanov said in his post-match press conference.
"I stayed there. I waited for my chance. I created them as well. I'm super happy, super proud that I could finish the match, I could take it. Serving for the match [is] never easy. [I am] just super happy to do this step forward to make my first semi-final," he added. (ANI)