US Open: Alcaraz makes history with fairytale run

By Sports Desk September 05, 2021

Teenage Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz made history after outlasting Peter Gojowczyk for a US Open quarter-final berth.

Alcaraz became the youngest men's US Open quarter-finalist in the Open Era thanks to Sunday's 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 6-0 victory at Flushing Meadows.

After stunning third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in New York, where he became the youngest man to defeat a top-three player at the US Open, the 18-year-old needed another five-setter to continue his fairytale run.

Alcaraz rallied past Gojowczyk, finishing with 35 winners – five more than the German qualifier – and 45 unforced errors, which were 39 fewer than his opponent.

Dubbed the new Rafael Nadal, Alcaraz became the youngest men's US Open quarter-finalist since Thomaz Koch (18) in the pre-Open Era in 1963.

He also became the youngest men's grand slam singles quarter-finalist since Michael Chang (18) at the 1990 French Open.

With the win, Alcaraz became the youngest men's player to earn back-to-back five-set wins at a grand slam since Chang (16) at the 1988 US Open as Felix Auger-Aliassime or Frances Tiafoe await.

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    Taylor Fritz believes there would be no "harm" in Novak Djokovic competing at the US Open, although the American admits he is conflicted about whether he should be allowed.

    Wimbledon champion Djokovic has his route to Flushing Meadows blocked by red tape at present, with the United States refusing to allow unvaccinated foreign visitors to enter the country.

    US tennis authorities have pledged to adhere to government rulings surrounding COVID-19 protocols, despite including Djokovic on their entry list.

    For Djokovic to be allowed into the United States, it appears he would require a change of policy from law-makers, or he would have to be considered suitable for an exemption.

    Among those who would be eligible for such an exemption are "persons whose entry would be in the national interest".

    With 21 grand slam titles, Djokovic sits second on the men's all-time list behind Rafael Nadal, who has 22 victories at the majors. 

    And Fritz, ranked 13th in the world, said that while the situation is complicated, there is part of him that thinks Djokovic should be allowed to take part in the competition that starts in under a fortnight.

    "It's tough," he said. "I think on one side of it, I think it's tough to make certain exceptions to the rules for certain people.

    "I don't know how I feel about that, but then, at the same time, we're not the most COVID-safe country in general with how we are doing things.

    "So it does seem like, what's the harm of letting the best player in the world come play the US Open?

    "But like I said, at the same time, it's conflicting, because I don't know how I feel about making special exceptions just for one person because of who they are.

    "So I see both sides of the argument, to be honest. It's tough to differentiate, obviously. It's good for every player if Novak is not in the draw."

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