Carlos Alcaraz Out Of Australian Open After Stunning Zverev Upset

ATP Hamburg finalist Alexander Zverev in action.

A maiden Australian Open title for Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz will have to wait for at least another year. Alexander Zverev shocked the 20-year-old Spaniard at the Rod Laver Arena to reach his second semifinal in Melbourne. It was a match that contained many twists and turns throughout, but ultimately, it ended in disappointment for Alcaraz and glory for Zverev.

Alexander Zverev Beats Carlos Alcaraz At The Australian Open

A Surprisingly Comfortable Opening Two Sets For Zverev

Zverev’s complete domination in the opening set was unexpected. Alcaraz managed to win one game on his serve in the first set, but Incredibly, he managed just seven points in the other six games. This was partly due to exceptional serving from the German, who did not allow Alcaraz any hint of a chance on serve. Yet, the Spaniard was also uncharacteristically wayward, and only hit two winners throughout the first set. The 2020 US Open runner-up took the first set 6-1.

Alcaraz improved in the first half of the second set. He was striking the ball with more authority and consistency and putting Zverev under more pressure. But the Spaniard could not find a break in that period though, and his game suddenly deteriorated once again. Zverev broke twice in a row from 3-3 to take it 6-3 and lead by two sets. Alcaraz hit ten winners compared to five for Zverev but still lost the set; showing how the German was finding success by just being solid from the baseline.

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Alcaraz Wins Incredible Third Set

This contest seemed to be heading to a swift conclusion when Zverev broke in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. The 26-year-old was still serving superbly and had not faced a break point in the set when he served for the match at 5-3. However, Alcaraz was not done yet. He managed to get serves back into play to put pressure on the German, and he cracked slightly under it to allow the 2022 US Open champion to break.

The set went to a tiebreak and Alcaraz produced one of the best tiebreaks seen in recent years. From 2-0 down, he hit a series of stunning shots from the baseline to reel off seven straight points and take it 7-2. Zverev was looking tired, and an Alcaraz win started to seem likely.

Zverev Recovers Spectacularly In The Fourth Set

Alcaraz was broken in the first game, but immediately recovered it in the next game. The Spaniard seemed to be reading his opponent’s serve better but Zverev then stepped things up in his service games. Alcaraz was testing the tired Zverev with drop shots and long baseline rallies, which made his serve even more crucial. It allowed the five-time Masters 1000 champion to hang in the set.

That proved to be crucial. At 4-4, Alcaraz’s level suddenly dropped. After three consecutive unforced errors, an excellent passing shot from Zverev gave him the break and a second chance to serve for the match. He made no mistake this time and sealed an incredible 6-1 6-3 6-7 6-4 triumph. Zverev plays Daniil Medvedev in the semifinal.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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