A next-generation battle for the ages took place inside Arthur Ashe Stadium Tuesday night, as Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner dueled for a spot in the US Open semifinals. This was a position both men were looking to get to for the first time in their young careers, and it showed with the fight and guts they showed until the wee hours of the New York City morning.
What we saw in this quarterfinal matchup between the 19-year-old Spaniard and the 21-year-old Italian was nothing short of special. Game in and game out, these two phenoms tested more than each other’s tennis repertoire. Every point was a battle of mental and physical fortitude with countless memorable rallies and winners, but one stood above them all.
ALCARAZ BEHIND THE BACK WHAT?!!?!?! pic.twitter.com/ylewLwrqxu
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2022
Everything from the retrieving skill to the ability to think on his feet and then the ability to finish the point is stunningly good from the Spaniard. Even the detail on the shot itself–kept low, spinning away from the court–was perfectly tailored to make Sinner’s volley as difficult as possible. With that said, I believe we as tennis fans should come to expect moments of greatness like this from Alcaraz.
This wasn’t pandering to the crowd or looking for a highlight. Alcaraz hit that behind-the-back shot out of pure necessity, and it paid off for him.
Unfortunately for Alcaraz, he ended up losing the game (and the set). That said, nothing can be taken away from what will likely go down as the shot of the tournament–likely the shot of the year–from Carlos Alcaraz.
Main Photo from Getty.