Matteo Arnaldi reached the second week in a Major for the first time, at the US Open 2023, but only surrendered to defending champion Carlos Alcaraz with a score of 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard is destroyning every exciting records at Flushing Meadows.
He carefully played the key points of the match and, without overdoing it, he became the second player able to gain access to the quarterfinals of the US Open on three occasions before turning 21 in the Open Era: only Andre Agassi had accomplished this feat in the three-year period 1988-1990.
As if that weren't enough, Alcaraz has also matched Johan Kriek and taken at least quarterfinals in his first three appearances at Flushing Meadows.
The match and other challenges in New York
The balance was broken in the sixth game, when the tape accommodated the ball to Alcaraz on the third break point granted to him by Arnaldi.
The Spaniard didn't exist and surprised his opponent in return with a winning forehand. The Italian did not make himself dangerous in the serving rounds of Alcaraz, which finished 6-3. In the second set of play, the 20-year-old immediately engaged the autopilot and stopped Arnaldi with a magnificent backhand pass.
With drop shots and lobs, Alcaraz continued to grind the game; Arnaldi, however, got his first real chance at 3-4. 15-30 ahead, the native of Sanremo made two serious mistakes with his forehand and allowed the Spaniard to stretch.
In the third set, a reaction of pride allowed Arnaldi to move forward by a break, playing an amazing game at 1-1. Alcaraz raised his head immediately and signed the counter break. Marketa Vondrousova and Madison Keys will compete for one of the two places in the semifinals in the bottom half of the women's main draw.
For the reigning Wimbledon champion, this is the first qualification for the quarterfinals of the US Open, while Keys participated in the last act of the home Slam in 2017. The Czech player didn't appear to be in her best condition, but she still managed to overturn with the score of (3) 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 a match that became rather complicated with Peyton Stearns.
There was no match on the Arthur Ashe between Keys and Jessica Pegula. The current WTA number 3 could not help but shake hands and congratulate her countrywoman.
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