Spanish youth Carlos Alcaraz advanced to his first Grand Slam final with a five-set victory against American hopeful Frances Tiafoe in the US Open semifinals.
The 19-year-old Alcaraz will compete against Casper Ruud of Norway, who earlier on Friday began his quest for a first major by defeating Karen Khachanov of Russia.
Fifth seed Ruud triumphed 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 5-7 6-2 while third seed Alcaraz won 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.
Whoever wins the Sunday final will go up to the top in men’s rankings.
The winner will take Daniil Medvedev’s spot at the top of the ATP rankings, which he lost to in the round of 16 in Flushing Meadows.
Alcaraz outlasts Tiafoe to win another epic.
Alcaraz has been predicted to win a Grand Slam for some time, and he is now only one victory away from being the youngest player to win a major since Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open.
The boy won the chance by winning another incredible competition that showcased his ability, athleticism, and passion.
It took him more than four hours and four match points to defeat the 22nd seed Tiafoe, making it the third straight match he won in a drawn-out five-setter.
The 24-year-old Tiafoe took the lead on his fifth set chance in the first game when Alcaraz committed a double fault. He was trying to become the first American man to reach a US Open final since Andy Roddick in 2006.
Alcaraz, who hadn’t lost a first-set match before, rallied to take the lead heading into the fourth set by winning 10 of the previous 12 games.
Tiafoe twice lost a break in the opening moments of the fourth, seeming flat and worn out at this point in the game. However, he returned from both holidays to re-energize himself and the audience, and he subsequently saved a match point with a fearless drop shot at 5-4.
To force a decisive set, Tiafoe made it eight tie-break wins in a row at Flushing Meadows this fortnight, breaking Pete Sampras’ previous record of seven.
After returning from being down 2-0, Tiafoe had a double fault, losing his serve for a score of 3-2, and Alcaraz took the lead.
The Spaniard’s inch-perfect lob had turned the fifth game, and he followed it up with another to earn the fourth match point, which he converted when Tiafoe smacked a backhand into the goal.