Carlos Alcaraz reaches first grand slam semifinal after marathon, late-night finish against Jannik Sinner
By Tom Schreiner
Updated on: October 1, 2019, 4:07 PM
MELBOURNE, Australia – Carlos Alcaraz’s run to the Australian Open record-equaling third grand slam semifinal on Saturday was only barely half as long as the journey he had endured to reach it.
With six hours and 46 seconds to play in the final match of the third night of the main draw, Alcaraz had been facing the toughest opponent he had had to face this year: Jannik Sinner.
His run to the main draw semifinals had started at 3.35 a.m. when he was awarded a walkover, his second. He had endured an uninteresting match against the American qualifier without a walkover.
His run to the main draw semifinals had started with a walkover.
He now had five starts to go on, and five more matches to play. He was facing three players who had beaten him to reach the quarterfinals before, and he would have to fight them off in order to reach just one more grand slam semifinal.
“I was so tired,” the 22-year-old Spaniard said upon arriving at Rod Laver Arena in a wheelchair after his match.
His first match was against qualifier Alex Bogomolov, the same player who the week before had beaten him to reach the quarters. This time, the American would not even be entering the match because he would be resting for a third of the match after having injured himself.
His first match had been a walkover, his second was an elimination.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that I was going to have to fight for every point I made, I’m not playing for anything,” he said. “I’m just playing for tennis.”
He had said he planned to play to the best of his ability for three matches in a row. He finished in the same half-hour time of 3.46 a.m. on Saturday as he had in