Alexander Zverev stops Alcaraz on the way to SF in Melbourne | ATP Tour

Australian Open

Zverev stops Alcaraz on the way to SF in Melbourne

The German will seek his second Grand Slam final against Medvedev

January 24, 2024

Alexander Zverev faced Carlos Alcaraz for the eighth time in his career in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images

Alexander Zverev faced Carlos Alcaraz for the eighth time in his career in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
By Staff

Alexander Zverev seems to have definitively left behind any consequences related to the serious ankle injury he suffered in 2022 and has not been able to start the season better. After leading his country to win the United Cup, this Wednesday he got a ticket to the semifinals of the Australian Open.

He also did so after defeating No. 2 seed Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4 in three hours and five minutes, equaling the best result of his career in Melbourne Park. And the German had already appeared among the four best in the tournament in 2020 (e.g. Dominic Thiem).

“I was playing against one of the best players in the world. In the last two years he has been No. 1 or No. 2, constantly,” Zverev said in the courtside interview. “He has won two Grand Slams, and when you are 6-1, 6-3, 5-2 you start to think.”

“We are all human and it is a great honor to play against guys like him,” the German continued. “When you’re so close to winning, your head starts to spin and it doesn’t always help, but I’m happy I did it in the end. “I recovered quite well in the fourth set, I didn’t let myself go and I’m happy to have closed the match.”

The No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings became the third player from his country to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open on at least two occasions, something that only Boris Becker (2) and Tommy Haas (3) had achieved before.

Furthermore, for the German it is the seventh time he has reached this round in a Grand Slam, which allows him to be the sixth active player with the most appearances in the semifinals in a tournament of this category.

More Grand Slam SF
Novak Djokovic – 48

Rafael Nadal – 38

Andy Murray – 21

Stan Wawrinka – 9

Daniil Medvedev – 8

Alexander Zverev – 7

Zverev seemed to care little about accumulating five more hours of competition in his legs than his opponent in the quarterfinals. He had to save two five-set battles against Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein in the second round and British No. 19 seed Cameron Norrie in the fourth round.

And, in the quarterfinals, he had to defeat an opponent against whom, until today, the Lexus ATP Head2Head had dominated him 4-3 and had been able to beat him in his most recent duel at the Nitto ATP Finals. And in Melbourne he added one more victory against the No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

From very early on, Zverev showed signs that he was willing to rule the match. Eight minutes were enough to understand that Zverev was not going to concede an inch to the Spaniard, winning 12 of the first 14 points of the match to break his serve and take a 3-0 lead. He raised his serve numbers to 16/18 (88.8%) and converted both break opportunities he had to close out the first set for his side by a resounding 6-1.

It was difficult for Alcaraz to take the pulse of the match. Little by little he adjusted his game and the points became longer. The Spaniard began to feel more comfortable until he was 3-2, 15/40 with his first break opportunities in his favor, which the German was able to save with another impeccable demonstration with the serve.

Zverev not only lifted the dangerous situation against him, but in the next game he returned the coin to the Spaniard. He linked four consecutive games, converting all four break point options he had so far. Thus he created the advantage to remain just one set away from the semifinals.

Alcaraz’s list of unforced errors continued to increase (45 in the match) and in the fourth game, Zverev seemed to put the finishing touch on the match with his fifth break (5/7). The German served to win the match 5-3, but the Spaniard brought out his champion’s pride to resist leaving early. He found his first break to give himself a chance to stay alive (5-5). Finally, the tiebreaker decided the match on the Spanish side (7-2).

The No. 2 seed did not lose face in the duel. He responded immediately to an initial break by Zverev to equalize (1-1). When the tension had reached its maximum expression, the German ruled in the ninth game of the fourth set. A last break (7/10 in total) gave him the privilege of serving again to close. And this time he did not forgive.

Medvedev becomes inevitable in the Grand Slam semifinals

In the match for a place in the final, Daniil Medvedev awaits him, who was able to overcome a great battle against the Polish Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and 59 minutes.

Did you know…?

Alexander Zverev has played, at this point in the season, a total of 10 matches with a record of 9 wins and only one loss against Alex de Minaur in the United Cup semi-finals. He has beaten the three Top 10 against whom he has been measured in 2024: Carlos Alcaraz (2), Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) and Hubert Hurkacz (9)

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