Carlos, 19, wins in five sets in 4 hours and 19 minutes. the youngest finalist of the tournament since 1990 (Sampras). On Sunday he will face the Norwegian Casper Ruud: whoever wins becomes number one in the world
NEW YORK The beautiful tale of the enfant du pays, son of immigrants to the United States from Sierra Leone, crashes into the Murcia wall on a Friday night in September, Carlos Alcaraz
, who does not seem at all a veteran of the 5h15 ‘marathon with Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals. Unlike the red baron, in the semifinal of the US Open Frances Tiafoe wins the first set at the tie break (8-6) and then goes off at a distance, not without a fight, sinking under the weight of the responsibility of bringing the stars and stripes flag back to the flagpole of the US Open nineteen years after the last king American (Roddick, 2003) and under the torrential rain of blows by the phenomenal Iberian boy, who of the Spanish champion par excellence – that Rafa Nadal capable of winning two Slam titles this year and here prematurely eliminated from the board by Tiafoe – clearly the heir already ready to take his place.
Victory in front of the audience for great occasions
There is the public for big occasions in Flushing. Full stadium, VIPs in the stands, Michelle Obama even came out from the pages of recent history to sit on the sidelines, perhaps because the legend of the ancestors who sailed from Africa to cross the Atlantic and build a life in America, the country that does not deny a chance, at least one, to no one, reminds her of the extraordinary adventure of the first black man president of the United States, her husband. The semifinal between Tiafoe and Alcaraz, while in the afternoon the Norwegian Ruud had reduced the ambitions of the Russian Khachanov (7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2), it seems to last just one set, the first, the antechamber between Carlos and the umpteenth enterprise.
Tiafoe’s illusion does not last long
The American maintains the brilliance he has shown since the beginning of the tournament, the Spaniard sharpens his weapons
as if the furious melee of 24 hours earlier with Sinner had never existed, as if that surreal story had been a birth of our minds. But the illusion of the USA does not last long: in the second set Alcaraz breaks the sixth game; not a coincidence, and for Tiafoe the beginning of a long run at breakneck speed. Solid in his shots from the baseline, able to recover as a professional sprinter to go and take the points at the net (the talent of the Spaniard, superfine athlete, above all physical and athletic), well directed by childhood idol Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos opens deep chasms in Frances’s certaintiescaressed from the grandstand with his eyes by his mother nurse, who worked the night shifts to be able to buy his equipment and pay for his tennis lessons (his father was a maintenance man at the Maryland tennis club where the boy grew up).
Carlos a satanasso, Frances tired
The second and third sets, despite the cheering of the stadium in favor, are a quick nightmare for Tiafoe: 6-3, 6-1. But just when he seems doomed, the American finds the way to re-emerge from the collapse: he cancels a match point to his rival in the fourth, drags him to the tie break where Alcaraz has a drop in energy, instead Tiafoe resumes playing on the lines (7-5). The balance in the fifth, the break festival, is broken in the fifth game (3-2): Carlos a Satan present everywhere in the camp, Frances tired, ballasted by double faults and a forehand that falls apart, held up only by the nervous energy of a stadium that would have it as the winner, but the other – Alcaraz (in the third consecutive match of five sets) – to be, not yet twenty, more athlete, more player, more man. 6-3 and all to bed after 4h19 ‘. In the final, Sunday, while Saturday evening (live Eurosport and Discovery + from 10pm) the number one Iga Swiatek and number 5 Ons Jabeur they compete for the female title, the throne of the US Open will be a matter between two guys who are in a hurry, and who know they are competing for the trophy of life.
The final is also number 1
Casper Ruud, Norwegian, 23, and Carlos Alcaraz, alien, 19, are not only facing each other for the United States Open Cup but also for the first position in the world rankings. Whoever wins takes it all. And if Alcaraz took that all, listen, he would become the youngest king of tennis in the history of the world ranking (born on August 23, 1973). Wow.
September 10, 2022 (change September 10, 2022 | 07:45 am)
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