Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars.
By JONATHAN COUSINS
(Reuters) – Carlos Alcaraz of Spain became one of the best players on the U.S. hard court on Sunday by defeating Frances Tiafoe in an epic battle on Centre Court at the US Open final.
Alcaraz beat his old rival 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-2) to win the US Open, the second major title of his career and the fourth of his career, coming off arguably his most dominant season in international competition.
The win takes Alcaraz to a peak of eighth on the all-time hard court win list and also the top 30 in the rankings. He was ranked outside of the world’s top 30 until the 2018 Australian Open.
Alcaraz was in perfect form when he took on Tiafoe, the world number one who had been a thorn in his side for years, and took the first two sets before the Spaniard pulled away.
In the third, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory, Alcaraz hit a forehand winner with authority to take a 2-0 lead.
“It’s going to be a long wait,” Tiafoe told a news conference with wife Anna Kournikova in London on Monday. “But you know what I’ve got to do. I’m going to do it.”
Tiafoe was making his first appearance in a final on Centre Court since a third-round defeat. He lost to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at the Australian Open and his two most recent finals were at the French Open, where he was upset by Tomas Berdych.
Serena Williams also fought back after losing a 6-4, 6-4 first set to reach her third straight major final.
“I don’t think it gets any