Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars
Carlos Alcaraz beat his friend Frances Tiafoe for a place in the US Open semifinals on Wednesday in a battle of rising stars.
The 21-year-old Colombian was the only player other than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to advance to the final, while the former Australian Open quarterfinalist was the only first-time quarter-finalist at the tournament.
Alcaraz is a former collegiate tennis player at Florida, where he played the last 18 months. In a tournament in 2016, he lost to a fellow countryman, Kevin Anderson, in the first round. Alcaraz ended his collegiate career in December with victories over Kyle Edmund in the final of the NCAA Championship and Christian Harrison-Hall in the NCAA Boys U19 Singles Championship.
Tiafoe is the only player from the US Open field to advance to the final after defeating Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori.
“I can’t wait to see my family again,” said Tiafoe, the 2009 winner. “I’m looking forward to the next stage and to meet my opponent.”
Tiafoe is considered one of the best young players in the world, and he has had just one break up in the entire tournament. He defeated Nadal after a first-round win over the world No. 1, and now faces Alcaraz.
“I’ve had a little bit of ups and downs,” Alcaraz joked when asked about his record against Tiafoe. “My body wasn’t in the shape to play him today. I just tried to take advantage of his mistakes and to make him play.
“I’m playing at a very high level. If I would have played like today, I wouldn’t be here. It was a very difficult match. I just tried my best to win it.”
Alcaraz ended up defeating Federer in the final. The two players had played six times this season and had a combined 1-6-2 record in the matches that they’ve played.
Alcaraz is ranked No. 18 in the world, while Tiafoe is No. 27.