Courageous Carlos Alcaraz stuns Tsitsipas for historic victory at the US Open

Jonathan Davies in US Open 04 Sep 2021
The third seed was stunned at Flushing Meadows (Ian Johnson/Zuma Press/PA Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas is out of the US Open following defeat by Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in an epic five-setter at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

The third seed – and recent French Open finalist – was the highest-profile casualty of round three after a gripping contest that lasted just over four hours.

Tsitsipas had dropped sets in his previous two victories over Andy Murray and Adrian Mannarino, and the same happened here with Alcaraz breaking on the way to taking the opener 6-3.

The Greek responded in the second 6-4, but fell behind again when his teenage opponent dominated the tie-break in the next.

Tsitsipas hit back with a vengeance; reeling off six games without reply to set up a decider, which went with serve right through to a nail-biting tie-break.

Alcaraz had faced 15 aces throughout the encounter, but the 18-year-old held his nerve to prevail 7-5 and become the youngest player to reach round four at Flushing Meadows since Pete Sampras and Michael Chang in 1989.

The teenager is also the youngest player to defeat a top-three opponent at the event since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973.

Meanwhile, Dan Evans also came through a tie-break as he completed a remarkable turnaround against Alexei Popyrin to secure a first appearance in the last 16.

The British number one lost the opening two sets, but hit back before dominating the tie-break 7-1 to edge through 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.

There were no such difficulties for Daniil Medvedev and Diego Schwartman, who have won nine sets without reply so far this year.

The second and 11th seeds required just three to sweep aside Pablo Andujar and Alex Molcan respectively.

Over in the Ladies’ draw, Elina Svitolina and Barbora Krejcikova are also yet to drop a set thus far.

Fifth seed Svitolina beat Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-2 as French Open champion Krejcikova saw off Kamilla Rakhimova by the same scoreline.

Angelique Kerber – winner here in 2016 – recovered from losing the opening set to see off 2017 victor Sloane Stephens in a battle of the former champions, while Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep also prevailed in three against Victoria Azarenka and Elena Rybakina respectively.

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