Carlos Alcaraz reaches first grand slam semifinal after marathon, late-night finish against Jannik Sinner
LONDON (AP) — Carlos Alcaraz did the unthinkable on Sunday: Made his own final at the Rogers Cup, where he beat Jannik Sinner, a fellow Canadian, in the longest match in the event’s history.
“I’m not a very lucky guy,” Alcaraz said as he came up short of his first grand slam title Sunday.
Alcaraz’s story is remarkable. After being a four-time Tour Championship winner and a top-25 player the last three years, he found himself a last-place world no. 25 and struggling with the mental and physical rigors of the tour in 2018.
So this week, he had a change of heart, abandoned his tour schedule and returned home to Puerto Rico to find himself on the verge of missing the cut for the Australian Open. He was considering playing the New York International because of the possibility that he could get a spot in the quarterfinals, but that ended up not happening.
It was during this time that Alcaraz met Sinner, and the two have since become fast friends and professional sparring partners on the circuit.
“It’s almost like a brotherhood,” Alcaraz said. “We’re out on the road, training hard and we have a goal in mind.”
Sinner, 34, had his own last-minute redemption story. The last-year Canadian no. 16 was knocked out earlier this week at the Rogers Cup, losing to world No. 42 Denis Shapovalov.
The first of two matches lasted more than three hours. After being unable to save his opening set at 5-3, Sinner broke his left wrist after an elbow to the face.
“It was probably one of the worst moments of my life,” he said. “I don’t really know how to describe it to people. You just know it’s not a good day.”
The two players traded breaks and came back to even the match at 6