Carlos Alcaraz can complete barely-believable feat at US Open

Carlos Alcaraz’s defence of his US Open title continued serenely on Monday with a straight-sets victory over Matteo Arnaldi at Arthur Ashe Stadium. And the Spanish superstar has the next target of his Grand Slam revenge tour in his sights after booking a place in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.

The 20-year-old has dropped just a single set in four matches so far in New York and will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals as he closes in on back-to-back Grand Slam titles after defeating Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon in July.

Alcaraz has the chance against Zverev to continue a remarkable run of form at the Slams over the past couple of years. Since being eliminated by Jan-Lennard Struff at Roland Garros in 2021, the Spaniard has taken every opportunity to avenge his defeats in the four major tournaments.

First, he exacted revenge against Struff at the opening round of Wimbledon 2022, before getting payback against Daniil Medvedev in the next round after losing to him at the All England Club in 2021. Jannik Sinner knocked Alcaraz out of Wimbledon in 2022, but he got his own back just a few weeks later en route to the US Open title.

Alcaraz’s 2022 Australian Open loss to Matteo Berrettini was put right at Wimbledon a few months down the line, and his semi-final elimination by Djokovic in France earlier this year was quickly forgotten by triumphing in an epic Wimbledon final.

Alcaraz, the No.1 seed in New York, has the chance to continue his streak of success against former opponents when he takes on Zverev – ranked 12 in the world – on Wednesday. Alcaraz’s latest run at Flushing Meadows has seen him equal Andre Agassi’s record of reaching the last eight of three US Opens before turning 21.

But Alcaraz, who is 15-1 in his career at the tournament, has his eyes on much bigger prizes than the quarter-finals and he oozed confidence in his post-match on-court interview on Monday.

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“The intensity from the start to the last ball, I think I played a really solid match,” he said. “Less mistakes. I played my game. Tried to go to the net all the time. I am really happy with the performance and I am happy to be through.

“Right now my favourite surface is hard court and when I won Wimbledon I said I fell in love with grass. I am really comfortable with the three surfaces, but right now hard courts are my favourite.”

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