Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic have been the players of the season, sharing Major titles and battling for the ATP throne. Alexander Zverev suffered losses to Novak and Carlos in the previous two events, praising them and their level.
Zverev placed Djokovic and Alcaraz above the rest of the field, urging the other players from the top to step in and try to beat them. Alexander pushed Novak to the limits in Cincinnati, losing ground in the closing stages of both sets and falling 7-6, 7-5 after two hours and four minutes.
Zverev broke Djokovic once and got broken two times to end his run in the semi-final. The German reached the US Open quarter-final and met the defending champion, Carlos Alcaraz. Zverev played a marathon against Jannik Sinner two days earlier and did not have enough energy to challenge the world's best player, losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Also, 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 and making a difference.
Carlos saved two break points in the opener's seventh game and held for 4-3. Alcaraz created his first break chance in the eighth game, seizing it with a deep return and a smash winner at the net that sent him 5-3 in front.
The young gun served for the set in game nine and held at love with a service winner to wrap up the opener in 49 minutes. Carlos played well behind the initial shot in the second set, and Alexander failed to match that level.
Alexander Zverev praised Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.
Alcaraz grabbed a break in the third game with a backhand crosscourt winner and held after a couple of deuces with a service winner for 3-1. The Spaniard fired a forehand winner in game seven to clinch another break and open a 5-2 gap.
Carlos held at 15 in game eight to wrap up this part of the duel and 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 serving for the victory. Carlos held at 15 in game ten with a service winner to secure a place in the semi-final.
"I played against Novak in Cincinnati and against Carlos here in New York. Their levels are similar. Novak does some things better, so as Carlos. Novak and Carlos are on their level at the moment, and the other guys have to catch up," Alexander Zverev said.
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