In 1995, a famous German Boris Becker reached the US Open semi-final, losing to Andre Agassi in four tight sets. The Germans had to wait for 25 years to see another semi-finalist, with Alexander Zverev taking down Borna Coric 1-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3 in grueling three hours and 25 minutes.
Thus, Alexander will compete in the second consecutive Major semi-final, losing the previous one to Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open back in January. As both players fought for the first semi-final spot at the US Open, knowing there are no Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic around, it was a low-quality encounter for at least a set and a half, with both raising their levels in the rest of the clash to make a decent one.
Alexander finished the duties with 52 winners and 46 unforced errors, recovering his game in set number two and hitting more winners than mistakes in sets three and four. Coric stayed on a 37-41 ratio, giving his best to win set two or three and losing ground in the fourth to push the rival through.
Alexander won four points more in the end, hitting 18 aces and 12 double faults, defending 11 out of 15 break chances to keep himself alive. On the other hand, he converted three out of eight opportunities on the return, prevailing in sets two and three to make a crucial difference and remain on the title course.
Coric was the only player on the court, using too many errors from his opponent who couldn't move well around the court. The Croat grabbed the first break in game four when the German sent a volley long, repelling two break chances in the next one and stealing Zverev's serve again to open a 5-1 advantage.
Serving for the set, Broan held at 15 to wrap up the opener with a service winner in under 25 minutes, hoping for more of the same in set number two. It lasted four 80 minutes and Zverev managed to get back into contention, hitting some early winners to gain boost.
Alexander Zverev is the first German in the semi-final since 1995.
Despite that, he got broken in the fifth game after arguing with the chair umpire, falling 4-2 behind before pulling the break back with a forehand winner in game eight, stealing Coric's serve for the first time after more than 70 minutes and gathering momentum.
They both served well in the remaining four games and Alexander grabbed the tie break 7-5 following a backhand mistake from Borna to level the overall score. The third set was also an extended one, with breaks they traded in games three and four.
Zverev found two precious unreturned serves in the sixth game to defend two break chances and remain on the scoreboard's positive side, with no opportunities for the returners in the rest of the set before another tie break.
The German clinched it 7-1 when the Croat netted a backhand, turning the scoreboard around and becoming the favorite in the fourth. After ten commanding holds (from 3-3 in the third set), they were locked at 2-2 in the fourth set before Alexander faced an ultimate challenge of four break points in game five.
Borna had a chance on the first three, spraying unforced errors that would cost him dearly! Alexander saved the fourth and closed the game with a forced error from his rival, wasting a break chance in game six but breaking Coric at 4-3 with an incredible forehand down the line winner.
Serving for the victory, Alexander converted the third match point with a service winner to propel himself into the last four and remain on the title course.