Carlos Alcaraz takes down Frances Tiafoe for place in US Open final originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Carlos Alcaraz is one match away from winning his first Grand Slam and earning the world No. 1 ranking.
In Friday’s semifinal, Spain’s Alcaraz defeated American Frances Tiafoe 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 in a high-energy performance that amped up the New York crowd. The 19-year-old, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the world, will earn the top ranking if he wins the title on Sunday.
"It's amazing to be able to fight for big things, Alcaraz said after the win. "First time in the final of a Grand Slam. I can see the No. 1 in the world but at the same time, it is so far away. I have one more to go. I am going to give everything I have."
In the first set, Tiafoe and Alcaraz put on a show. After a set of 12 holds, Tiafoe won the tiebreaker 8-6 to put an end to the marathon set, 7-6. Alcaraz threw in two double faults in the tiebreaker, including on set point.
Alcaraz grabbed the first break of the match in the second set at 2-2 and extended his lead to win the set 6-3. His craftiness and mix of pace seemingly disrupted Tiafoe's rhythm.
In the third set, Alcaraz stormed out with confidence, breaking Tiafoe twice to go up 4-0. Tiafoe’s energy took a dip and so did the pep in his step. Alcaraz won the set 6-1 and the crowd was loving the Spaniard's intensity.
Alcaraz continued his momentum in the fourth set, earning a 3-1 lead off of two breaks. Tiafoe took an easy break back to narrow the margin to one game and show the New York supporters that he was still in the match. At 5-4, Tiafoe saved a match point on his serve but it wasn't enough as Alcaraz took the set 7-6 and match.
In the fifth and final set, Alcaraz bounced back earning an early break to go up 2-0 but Tiafoe was able to match that effort, tying it up at 2-2. The two champions were battling fatigue but in the end, Alcaraz came out on top winning the set 6-3 and match.
"I gave everything I had, Tiafoe said after the match. "I will come back one day and win this thing."
Alcaraz, who finished the match with a 74% first serve winning percentage and broke nine times, will be playing in his first Grand Slam final on Sunday. His best Grand Slam result prior to this tournament was reaching the quarterfinal of the French Open this year.
The Spaniard will face Casper Ruud in the U.S. Open final on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.