No. 3 Alcaraz beats Cilic in 5-set match | US Open updates

Sep 4, 2022, 8:26 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2022, 11:41 pm
Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, celebrates after winning a point against Marin Cilic, of Croatia, during ...

Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, celebrates after winning a point against Marin Cilic, of Croatia, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, early Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):

2:30 a.m.

It’s going to be a U.S. Open quarterfinals matchup of two rising stars when third-seeded Carlos Alcaraz plays No. 11-seed Jannik Sinner.

The 19-year-old Alcaraz was the last to advance in one of the longest nights ever at the Open — that included a fourth set that lasted about an hour — with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Alcaraz, who can end the Open ranked No. 1 in the world, dropped to his knees when he won the grueling match that lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes and ended at 2:23 a.m. — missing the record by 3 minutes for the latest finish in Open history. He would be the youngest No. 1 on the ATP tour since 2001.

Cilic’s exit means there’s not a single former U.S. Open champion left in both the men’s and women’s draw.

Sinner beat Alcaraz in four sets when they played this year at Wimbledon. Sinner, who turned 21 in August, is the youngest player to reach the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam events in a season since Novak Djokovic was 20 in 2007. The two players could play a pivotal role in a potential changing of the guard in men’s tennis. Rafael Nadal lost Monday and Djokovic, who has 21 Grand Slam titles, did not enter this U.S. Open because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and was not allowed to enter the United States. Roger Federer, 41, has undergone a series of operations on his right knee and last played at Wimbledon last year.

Alcaraz was already the youngest man to reach the fourth round in consecutive U.S. Open since Pete Sampras in 1989 and ’90.

The crowd at Ashe went wild on nearly every point in the fifth set. Alcaraz, of Spain, was fist-pumping and exhorting the fans to get louder. And it worked. Fueled by the fandom — and a spate of Cilic’s unforced errors — Alcaraz pulled away in the fifth. Alcaraz high-fived a few fans that stuck around to celebrate his second straight quarterfinal berth at Flushing Meadows.

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12:10 a.m.

Eleventh-seeded Jannik Sinner held off feisty Ilya Ivashka and won his U.S. Open match 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to clinch a spot in all four Grand Slam quarterfinals this year.

Sinner, who turned 21 in August, became the youngest player to reach the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam events in a season since Novak Djokovic was 20 in 2007. Sinner was down 3-1 in the fifth set but rallied to win five straight games to close out the unseeded Ivashka.

Sinner won 12 break points in the match and dug deep in the fifth, showcasing why the rising Italian is considered as a potential star. Sinner joins Matteo Berrettini as Italian men in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Sinner will play the winner of Monday night’s final match between 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic and No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz.

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10:20 p.m.

Sixth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka bounced back from a slow start and visits from the trainer to beat No. 19 seed Danielle Collins 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Sabalenka advanced to face No. 22 Karolina Pliskova.

Sabalenka continued her mastery at Flushing Meadows over Collins, beating her for the third time at the U.S Open (2018 and 2021). She led 4-3 in the second set when she needed a medical timeout. Sabalenka had a trainer massage her left thigh and it continued throughout breaks in the match. Sabalenka, an Open semifinalist in 2021, said at her on-court interview she was fine.

Sabalenka at one point complained to the chair umpire about fan noise — and again, there were plenty of them inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The U.S. Open has attracted a record 549,657 fans since the main draw started last Monday. It’s the highest-ever attendance for the tournament through its first eight days. The previous record was 540,333, set in 2019.

She even changed her racket — which she said was “super loose” — in the midst of the second set. It didn’t bother her too much. She had 38 winners.

Sabalenka, who is from Belarus, was not allowed to play at Wimbledon this year after all players from her country and Russia were banned because of the invasion of Ukraine.

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8 p.m.

No. 24 seed Karolina Pliskova has moved into the U.S. Open quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 win over 26th-seeded Victoria Azarenka.

Pliskova, a former world No. 1, was the runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2016 and at Wimbledon in 2021. Pliskova will play the winner of Monday night’s match at Arthur Ashe Stadium between No. 6 seed Aryna Sabalenka and 19th-seeded Danielle Collins.

The women’s field is guaranteed to have a first-time champion.

Pliskova has returned to form in Flushing Meadows after a broken right wrist forced her to miss the Australian Open and she struggled in her first few tournaments when she returned to action.

Azarenka lost for the fifth time in nine career meetings against Pliskova.

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6:15 p.m.

Frances Tiafoe pulled off the biggest win of his career when the 22nd-ranked American beat second-seeded Rafael Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Tiafoe buried his head in his hands and cried on the court after he shook hands with Nadal. He sat on the bench and buried his head in a towel as Nadal walked off and waved to the crowd.

The 24-year-old Tiafoe is the youngest American to reach the quarterfinals since Andy Roddick did so at 24 in 2006. Nadal, a four-time U.S. Open champion, was the highest-seeded player left after No. 1 Daniil Medvedev lost Sunday.

Tiafoe already was the first American man to reach the fourth round in three straight years since Mardy Fish in 2010-12.

Nadal entered 22-0 at Grand Slam events in 2022. He was 21-1 against Americans since October 2017, which included straight-set wins over Tiafoe in the 2019 Australian Open quarterfinals and 2019 Madrid third round.

The early edge was a boon for Tiafoe. Nadal has never come back from down 2-1 at the U.S. Open and fell to 0-7 overall at Flushing Meadows with that deficit.

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4:35 p.m.

No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek survived a slow start to knock off unseeded Jule Niemeier 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the first time.

Swiatek, a two-time French Open champion, will play Jessica Pegula next. Pegula eliminated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2 to get to her third major quarterfinal of 2022.

Swiatek came into the U.S. Open just 4-4 in her last eight matches after winning 37 straight, but she hadn’t lost a set at Flushing Meadows until Monday. Niemeier got the early jump — as she exhorted the crowd to get louder — and gamely tried for another Grand Slam upset. She knocked out No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit in Wimbledon.

Swiatek steadied herself in the second set and hit 10 winners, and she turned the third set into a rout. Swiatek became the first Polish woman to reach the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open and is trying to become the first top-seeded woman to win it since Serena Williams in 2014.

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2:15 p.m.

Jessica Pegula eliminated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2 to get to her third major quarterfinal of 2022 and reach that round for the first time at Flushing Meadows.

Play was held up for about 45 minutes at 1-1 in the first set while rain fell. There is a retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but it wasn’t closed until after a downpour soaked the court.

The U.S. Tennis Association said in a statement that its “weather team” told U.S. Open organizers there was no rain expected. The statement added: “Unfortunately, a pop-up sunshower occurred.”

The No. 8-seeded Pegula is the highest-ranked American woman and the only player in the top 10 in both singles and doubles.

She reeled off the last three games of Monday’s opening set, which ended with a double-fault by No. 21 Kvitova, and then the last six games of the fourth-round match after trailing 2-0 in the second set.

Pegula is a 28-year-old who was born in New York. Her parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

She is 0-3 in Grand Slam quarterfinals so far, including losses at that stage at the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June. The loss in Paris came against No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek, who could be Pegula’s next opponent at Flushing Meadows.

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1:40 p.m.

Andrey Rublev reached his sixth Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Cam Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in a match delayed by about 25 minutes while the retractable roof at Louis Armstrong Stadium remained open during a downpour.

The No. 9-seeded Rublev is into his third quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows. But he is 0-2 at that stage in New York — and 0-5 at all majors.

Rublev next faces 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or 24-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, who were scheduled to meet later Monday.

No. 7 Norrie was trying to reach the second Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career — and of this year. He lost in the Wimbledon semifinals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in July.

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1:15 p.m.

Play has resumed between two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula in Arthur Ashe Stadium after a rain delay of 45 minutes while they waited for the retractable roof to close and the court to be dried.

The fourth-round match was halted in the middle of the third game with the score at 1-all.

Action also returned at Louis Armstrong Stadium between No. 7 Cam Norrie and No. 9 Andrey Rublev after a delay of just under 25 minutes.

Shortly after they picked back up, Rublev closed out the second set for a 6-4, 6-4 lead in their fourth-round contest.

No other courts at Flushing Meadows have a roof, so play is suspended in doubles and junior matches.

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12:45 p.m.

Rain is delaying play in all matches at Flushing Meadows — even in the two arenas with retractable roofs, Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The courts were not covered when a little drizzle became a heavy downpour.

The match in Ashe between two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula was in the middle of the third game with the score at 1-all.

The match in Armstrong between No. 7 Cam Norrie and No. 9 Andrey Rublev was in the third set with Rublev up a set and a break at 6-4, 4-3.

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11:15 a.m.

Play has started on Day 8 at Flushing Meadows, with No. 7 seed Cam Norrie facing No. 9 Andrey Rublev in Louis Armstrong Stadium for a quarterfinal berth.

The winner of that matchup will face 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or 24-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, who are scheduled to play in Arthur Ashe Stadium later Monday.

After a string of upsets, and Serena Williams’ loss in what is expected to be her final match, left no past U.S. Open women’s champions in the field, all eyes are now on No. 1 Iga Swiatek. The two-time French Open champion will try to make the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time when she plays unseeded Jule Niemeier.

The Ashe program begins at noon with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova taking on the highest-ranked American woman, Jessica Pegula.

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No. 3 Alcaraz beats Cilic in 5-set match | US Open updates