US Open, fourth round
Ilya Ivashka – Yanik Siner 1-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6
Marin Cilic – Carlos Alcaraz 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-43-6
Young men’s tennis stars Carlos Alcaraz and Yannick Siner had a tough time on court on Monday, but still managed five-set wins to set up a quarter-final clash.
Siner had the seemingly easier task, and the beginning of his match against Ilya Ivashka did not suggest what followed. The Italian won the first part easily and led with a break in the second at 4-2. However, at this point the service problems started. In the end, the youngster finished the match with 14 double faults, 7 of which were in the second half alone. The first serve percentage was 46, which guarantees him serious difficulties against the Belarusian who plays excellent tennis. Ivashka’s forehand combined with Siner’s 55 unforced errors made for an extremely difficult task for Yannick. He trailed 1-3 in the fifth set, but found the strength to take the last five games of the match.
Thus, he becomes the youngest tennis player since Novak Djokovic to reach the quarter-finals of each of the Slam tournaments. For the first time in the history of the tournament, there will be two Italians in the top 8. He and Matteo Berretini are the only quarter-finalists who are not currently in the positions that gave them the right to participate in the ATP Finals.
Carlos Alcaraz’s match against the 2014 champion Marin Cilic turned out to be even more dramatic. The Spaniard continued his dream of becoming the youngest No. 1 in history after a bout that ended at 2:23 a.m.
Just 4 minutes short of making this match the longest in US Open history.
Alcaraz lost his advantage at the start of the fourth set and so it came to the fifth, in which, like Siner, he also had to come back from a break behind.
“I have no idea,” Carlitos answered candidly when asked how he won the match. “It was very, very hard to come back at the beginning of the fifth set, to stay strong mentally. The energy I got today made me win.”
Thus, Alcaraz’s hopes of climbing to the top increased after the elimination of Rafael Nadal a few hours earlier. If the Spaniard reaches the final and Casper Ruud doesn’t, then the teenager will be No.1 on Monday.
For this purpose, he will also have to deal with Siner, against whom he has two losses in their three meetings so far. They were this year – at Wimbledon and at the final in Umag.
“I’ve played against him a few times. He is a great player, but a tough opponent. I’ve lost twice in the last two months, so I’ll have to be ready for this fight against Yannick.”