Carlos Alcaraz reaches US Open quarterfinal with late-night win against Marin Cilic
LOS ANGELES — After a year in which he has had to be the ace up his sleeve for a US team looking to make history at this year’s Open, Carlos Alcaraz finally is back in the quarterfinals here at the US Open.
Alcaraz had gone through 20 of 23 games during this year’s Open, never leaving early, and eventually had a streak of four consecutive wins after having played the opening match in the afternoon. While the team’s goal for Alcaraz was not to win his first Grand Slam title, the Spanish pro never lost heart either, and won his quarterfinal with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Marin Cilic in the third set.
“When it’s down to two sets, it feels very much the same after two,” Alcaraz said. “It’s only the way you train that is different. You never lose your poise and your focus. It’s only the way you train when you get down to two sets. When you lose your focus and your composure, there’s a moment where you have a feeling it’s not going to work out. So you have to continue to put everything that you have in every part of your game. Sometimes after losing a set, you can win a match, but that doesn’t mean you’ll win the next one. You have to stick with it and keep working on your game and putting everything that you have.”
The Spanish pro is now set to face No. 8 seed John Isner in Friday’s final.
Isner and Alcaraz have both shown flashes of form in this tournament, with the former serving for wins in two of the last three rounds in addition to his third-round victory. But neither player could figure out how to consistently have an impact in the game for long stretches during their matches.
“I feel like sometimes I could’ve been a little more aggressive in the first two sets, but if I had more opportunities on the next serve, it would’ve been much easier to win the points,” Alcaraz said. “I feel like I was doing a good job. I was able to stay on the balls that I wanted to play, when I wanted to play them. It’s