Stefanos Tsitsipas knew: 'Carlos Alcaraz is a Major contender'

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Stefanos Tsitsipas knew: 'Carlos Alcaraz is a Major contender'
Stefanos Tsitsipas knew: 'Carlos Alcaraz is a Major contender' © Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Carlos Alcaraz is a two-time Major champion at 20, conquering the US Open and Wimbledon. Stefanos Tsitsipas predicted that outcome following their 2021 US Open clash, losing to the young gun in five sets. Alcaraz defeated Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 0-6, 7-6 in four hours and seven minutes in the third round, making an impressive debut in New York and becoming the youngest quarter-finalist at this event.

Praising the younger opponent, Stefanos said he never saw anyone hitting that hard, ripping almost every ball and staying aggressive at any cost. Stefanos bageled Carlos in the fourth before the Spaniard started all over in the decider to prevail in the tie break and write history books.

Alcaraz was a more aggressive player, going for shots and not stepping back despite trailing in the third set and experiencing a bagel in the fourth.

Stefanos Tsitsipas praised Carlos Alcaraz after their 2021 US Open clash.

The youngster made a great start and raced into a 4-0 lead in the opening set.

Carlos claimed it with three breaks and moved 3-0 in front in the second before the Greek bounced back, taking five straight games. Stefanos fended off three break chances in the tenth game to wrap up the set, gaining a boost and forging a 5-2 advantage in the third set.

Eager to leave everything on the court, Alcaraz pulled two breaks back and stole the tie break, moving a set away from a notable victory. Stefanos was the only player on the court in the fourth set, earning a bagel and becoming the favorite ahead of the decider.

Instead, the young gun found his strokes again, staying competitive and following the pace of world no. 3. Holding his nerves, an 18-year-old gained three match points in the tie break, converting the third with a forehand winner at 6-5 to earn a career-best victory.

A year later, Carlos went all the way in New York, becoming the first teenager with a Major crown since Rafael Nadal in 2005. "Carlos can be a Major contender; he has the game to be there. His ball speed is incredible; I have never seen someone hit it so hard.

It took me time to develop my game around his style. It's one of those matches where you pick up your level at some point and feel you are in control, but it does not end your way. It's bitter to experience a loss after such an incredible fourth set when I dominated and played aggressive tennis.

Carlos played the fifth set as he did in the first, going for his shots and not thinking much about the outcome. Honestly, I have never seen someone playing at that level in the deciding set," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Carlos Alcaraz Us Open

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