World no. 1 Carlos Alcaraz is through to his seventh Masters 1000 semi-final in Cincinnati. The 20-year-old struggled in another match in Ohio, losing the opener against Max Purcell before prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes.
Max reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final, playing well and challenging the world's best player. The Aussie fired 33 service winners and rushed to the net 60 times, trying to keep the points on his racquet. Carlos hit eight double faults but outplayed his rival on the second serve.
The Spaniard lost serve two times from three chances offered to the Aussie and broke his opponent three times from nine opportunities. Alcaraz landed 29 winners and errors, while Purcell sprayed 50 mistakes, half from his backhand wing.
Max saved a break point in the encounter's second game with a booming serve and forced two deuces on the return in the next one.
Carlos Alcaraz ousted Max Purcell in three sets in Cincinnati.
They stayed neck and neck until the seventh game before Carlos hit a double fault and faced break points.
The Spaniard sprayed a forehand error to lose serve and fall 4-3 behind. World no. 70 fired a service winner in the tenth game, taking the opener 6-4 in 43 minutes and moving closer to a massive surprise. Carlos raised his level in the second set, delivering five comfortable holds and keeping the pressure on the other side.
Alcaraz clinched an early break in the second game and cemented the lead with a service winner in the next one. Both players played well behind the initial shot in the rest of the set, with Carlos serving for the set at 5-3.
World no. 1 landed an unreturned serve to clinch the set 6-3 and force a decider after an hour and 19 minutes. The Spaniard broke again at the beginning of the third set and had a chance to terminate the rival's resistance with another at 2-0.
Purcell denied four break points and remained within one break deficit. Max broke back in the fourth game after Carlos' loose forehand, leveling the score at 2-2 and gaining a boost. Purcell denied a break point in the fifth game with a service winner and held after deuce two games later for 4-3.
Max served at 4-4 and experienced a break at love when his volley landed long, pushing Carlos 5-4 in front. Alcaraz served for the victory in game ten and faced a break point. He saved it and moved over the top with a booming serve for a place in the semi-final.