Carlos Alcaraz’s Stirring U.S. Open Run Ends in the Quarterfinals

Carlos Alcaraz’s beautiful run at the U.S. Open got here to a sudden and shocking finish on Tuesday evening when the 18-year-old from Spain retired from his quarterfinal match in opposition to Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada halfway by means of the second set.

Auger-Aliassime took the first set, 6-Three, and was main Three-1 in the second set when Alcaraz approached the umpire and knowledgeable him that he was retiring from the match with an damage.

He stated after the match he had an damage to a proper higher leg muscle that he sustained from taking part in lengthy matches in every of the earlier two rounds. He stated he began the match with ache and that it elevated to a stage that was unmanageable after the finish of the first set.

“It’s a really tough to end a great tournament like this,” Alcaraz stated. “I had no choice.”

Auger-Aliassime was as stunned as anybody, despite the fact that he had an up-close view of the Spanish phenom.

“I was expecting a tough battle,” a stunned Auger-Aliassime stated of Alcaraz who, however for a handful of factors, performed the Canadian almost to a draw in the first set. “I didn’t see it coming.”

Alcaraz got here into the match after two five-setters, in opposition to the third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and the German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk. Alcaraz wore bandages on the higher a part of each of his legs however gave the impression to be transferring effectively for many of the evening. After the third sport of the second set, Alcaraz had a quick examination with a medical coach, however there was little different indication that his discomfort was severe sufficient that it’d require him to retire from the match.

Alcaraz and Auger-Aliassime, 21, performed a good first set, with Auger-Aliassime having only a slight edge over Alcaraz, who has been nicknamed “the next Rafa” — a reference to his countryman, Rafael Nadal, the winner of 20 Grand Slam event singles titles.

Auger-Aliassime performed a virtually flawless first set that included six aces. He additionally rushed the internet 10 occasions and gained eight of these factors, a very aggressive technique in opposition to a participant recognized for hitting the ball as laborious as anybody in the sport.

Alcaraz was good however not nice, lacing the occasional screaming winner down the line. But he by no means fairly discovered the rhythm or the really feel of the ball that he displayed in his greatest moments in this event, particularly throughout his upset of Tsitsipas to announce himself to the world.

Alcaraz was one in every of three youngsters who made the quarterfinals at the 2021 U.S. Open. Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian, booked her spot to the semifinals on Tuesday when she beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, the fifth seed.

Emma Raducanu, 18, of Britain, will play the 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in her quarterfinal match on Wednesday afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Auger-Aliassime will play Daniil Medvedev of Russia, the No. 2 seed, in the semifinals on Friday. It is the first time he has made the remaining 4 at a Grand Slam event. Medvedev was a finalist at the U.S. Open in 2019 and a semifinalist final 12 months. He misplaced in the finals of the Australian Open in February.