Carlos Alcaraz reaches first grand slam semifinal after marathon, late-night finish against Jannik Sinner, on verge of becoming the first player to reach 300 games in Australia’s men’s singles tennis.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 – Carlos Alcaraz may be going to his first Australian Open final if the late-night semifinal against Jannik Sinner goes his way. But if the match is not decided until Saturday, he’s unlikely to make history.
“If I lose, it’s not bad. I mean, I’ll get to 250, but it doesn’t mean anything,” said Alcaraz, who’s in his first Australian Open semifinal. “But if Sinner takes the title, I’ll get to 250.”
The second-seeded Spaniard is in need of victory in front of his home crowd at the StubHub Center, where he’ll play the sixth-seeded Swede and reach a career-high of at least 300 singles matches.
Sinner, who is making his first appearance in the finals as a wild card, will face the winner of the other semifinal between No. 11 seed and No. 2 seed Roger Federer and No. 5 seed Andy Murray.
“I was quite nervous before [and] when it was really close to the end I was hoping for it to be one way,” Sinner said. “It’s not because we played a really good match early on. It was just because my opponent played really well right to the last point.
“It was very hard, especially because the last match was just a different level of tennis.”
Alcaraz was trailing 1-6, before he led 4-2 and 9-8. But he made a break for 2-0 as the match wore on and held his nerve until the 15-minute mark of the 10-match set. Then he made another break of 30 (with two of them in a row)