Reaching three Major semi-finals within a season is always impressive. However, the feat becomes even more difficult for the U20 players, as they lack the big scene experience. Novak Djokovic became the first player to achieve that in 2007, playing in three consecutive semi-finals following a slow start in Australia.
Sixteen years later, Carlos Alcaraz joins Novak on the list, becoming the second U20 player with three Major semi-finals in the season. The Spaniard skipped the Australian Open due to an injury and kicked off his season at Majors in Paris.
Carlos came to Roland Garros as one of the favorites, defeating Denis Shapovalov, Lorenzo Musetti and Stefanos Tsitsipas to advance into the last four. Carlos met Novak in a blockbuster, fighting well in the opening two sets before experiencing a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 loss.
Alcaraz cracked under pressure after the second set, feeling cramps in the entire body and barely winning two games in sets three and four.
Carlos Alcaraz is the second U20 player with three Major semis in a season.
The young gun bounced back at Wimbledon, Carlos ousted Matteo Berrettini and Holger Rune for a place in another Major semi-final.
Alcaraz toppled Daniil Medvedev and prevailed over Djokovic in a thrilling five-setter to secure his second Major crown two months after turning 20! Carlos came to New York as the defending champion, and he is so far so good at the season's last Major.
The 20-year-old defeated Alexander Zverev in the quarter-final, remaining on the title course and matching Novak Djokovic's record. Carlos beat Alexander 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two and a half hours, controlling his strokes and taking the crucial points.
Alexander struggled with an injury since the second set, giving his everything but experiencing a decisive break at 4-4 in the third. Alcaraz saved all five break points and stole Zverev's serve four times from as many chances, playing better in the decisive moments to seal the deal in straight sets.
Carlos saved two break points in the opener's seventh game and created his first chance in the next one. The Spaniard seized it with a deep return and a smash winner before closing the set on his serve a few minutes later for 6-3.
Carlos played well behind the initial shot in the second set, and Alexander got broken two times. Alcaraz grabbed a break in the third game with a backhand crosscourt winner and fired a forehand winner in game seven to clinch another and open a 5-2 gap.
Carlos held at 15 in game eight to open two sets to love lead after an hour and a half. Zverev took a medical timeout ahead of the third set and had his chances to move in front. Carlos saved three break points in games two and four, playing well in the decisive moments and keeping his initial shot intact.
Alexander served well and led 4-3, keeping the pressure on the other side. However, Alcaraz broke him at 15 in the ninth game, opening a 5-4 advantage and holding at 15 in game ten with a service winner to secure a place in the semi-final.
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