Carlos Alcaraz reaches US Open quarterfinal with late-night win against Marin Cilic
by TOM GOSSEN | Mar 29, 2016
Carlos Alcaraz reached the quarterfinals of the US Open with an hour to spare Saturday night, defeating Marin Cilic 6-7(6) 7-6(6) 6-4 and edging out Nadal for a spot in the final.
After rain interrupted play for the first two games of the match, all five of the remaining players in the field were facing a rain-delayed semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray. The fifth-seeded Alcaraz reached the quarterfinals in the 11th Grand Slam tournament of his career, winning two straight games and defeating Del Potro in the next two. He then took out Nadal, in a 5-7, 7-6(3) 7-6(5), 7-6(5) match that ended around 1 a.m on Sunday.
The two-time major victor began the match against Cilic with a 4-2 lead at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, which lasted for more than three hours. Cilic took the first two games from the first set for a 6-3 lead. With the next two matches all going to tiebreakers, the fifth-seeded Spaniard made it 6-4 in the third, but broke back after going 1-0 against Cilic in the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-5. At 1-1 in the fifth, Alcaraz broke back to win the set on his second match point to go up 7-6.
The pair went into the second set all tied at three. A break in game one gave Alcaraz a 4-1 lead, but Cilic fought back to take game two, 5-4 to take the opening set back. Alcaraz earned the first break point of the fourth set at 7-5, but Cilic came back to take game four, 9-8. They went to a tiebreaker on the next game, which Alcaraz won, 8-7. Game five went to a third set tiebreaker, where both players broke again, this time on the second game, to go 3-1. Cilic came in for Alcaraz in the fifth game