Alexander Zverev stunned Carlos Alcaraz in four sets to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open; Alcaraz came into the match as favourite but couldn’t handle the quality of Zverev in a match that finished after 1am local time in Melbourne
Carlos Alcaraz is out of the Australian Open after Alexander Zverev produced an incredible display to stun the two-time Grand Slam champion in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
Zverev simply outplayed Alcaraz for the majority of the match to win 6-1 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 in a memorable quarter-final surprise in Melbourne.
He will face Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals on Friday after the Russian came through a gruelling five-set match against Hubert Hurkacz.
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“I am playing one of the best players in the world especially for the last two years, he’s won two Grand Slams,” said Zverev.
Image: Alexander Zverev has made the semi-finals of the Australian Open once before in 2020
“When you’re up 6-1, 6-3, 5-2, you start thinking. We’re all human and it’s a great honour to play against guys like him. Then when you’re so close to winning, you’re brain starts going.
“I’m happy I got the win in the end. I fought back well in the fourth set, didn’t let go and very happy that I finished the match.”
Zverev showed his intent straight away with big serves and broke Alcaraz immediately to go 3-0 up. Remarkably, Alcaraz only won one game as Zverev made 16 out of 18 first serves with a dominant 29-minute first set.
Zverev vs Alcaraz: Match stats
|1st serve in percentage
|1st serve win percentage
|2nd serve win percentage
|Net points won
|Break points won
|Total points won
Although the opening six games went to serve, Zverev broke in the middle of the second after a long game and was back in the groove as Alcaraz continued to make unforced errors.
He broke for a second time to win the set, so served first in the third and looked like he was going to take a dominant win when he went 3-1 up as Alcaraz missed a big backhand.
Zverev went on to build a 5-2 lead but Alcaraz wasn’t done yet and broke his opponent with a magical ninth game by varying his play then held serve to make it 5-5.
Image: Carlos Alcaraz's run to the quarter-finals is still his best at the Australian Open
The set went to a tie-break and Zverev took a 2-1 lead before six incredible points from Alcaraz, including consecutive passing shots, to get back into the match by winning the third.
Zverev received some treatment to his left foot before the fourth set, seemingly for blisters, and both players shared breaks immediately.
There were no break chances in the next six games and it looked like another tie-break was looming. However, Zverev suddenly broke to lead 5-4 and served for the match, which he executed brilliantly to beat a top-five player in a major for the first time in his career.
The women’s semi-finals take place on Thursday with Coco Gauff taking on Aryna Sabalenka from 8.30am UK time, which is followed by China’s No 1 Qinwen Zheng against qualifier Dayana Yastremska.
The men’s last-four matches are on Friday with Novak Djokovic playing Jannik Sinner, before Zverev faces Medvedev.
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