Teenaged talent Carlos Alcaraz stunned third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(5) on Friday to score the biggest win of his young career with a fourth-round place in the US Open.
The Spaniard tipped as heir apparent to Rafael Nadal, spent more than four hours on court as he kept pace with the Greek who refrained from the long bathroom breaks which have caused so much controversy this week.
Alcaraz, coached by former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, stayed in step with Tsitsipas, triumphing on his third match point as he sent an inside-out forehand winner to the corner.
The 18-year-old who had Arthurs Ashe stadium fans almost totally on his side, fell to the court on his back in joy, hardly able to believe what he had just accomplished.
“This is the biggest win of my career, it means so much to beat Stefanos,” the No. 55 Alcaraz said.
“It’s a dream come true. But without the crowd I would not have had the possibility to win. I was down at the start of the fourth set, so thanks to the fans.
“And thanks for pushing me in the fifth set. It’s an incredible feeling for me.”
Tsitsipas sent down 15 aces but was broken six times; Alcaraz had 60 winners and 48 unforced errors.
Daniil Medvedev lived up to his second seeding with a clinical 6-0, 6-4, 6-3 trouncing of Spain’s Pablo Andujar.
The Russian who contested the 2019 final and reached the semis a year ago, needed just under two hours to manhandle the Iberian journeyman with nine aces and seven breaks of serve.
Medvedev fired 34 winners to 16 for his 74th-ranked opponent as he won on the Armstrong court on a dry, clear day after Wednesday night’s flooding.
“It’s always great to finish in straight sets. The more matches you can win in
straight sets the better,” Medvedev said.
“I think Pablo didn’t play his best level. and I just took advantage, took the points I needed to take.
“The second and third sets were much tighter, a lot of long rallies. I’m really happy I managed to win in less than two hours.
“There are only positives. I’m happy with my level, happy with everything.
British No. 1 Dan Evans completed one of the best wins of his career as he battled from two sets to love down to overhaul Australian Alexei Popyrin 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(1).
The comeback took slightly more than four hours, with Popyrin firing 18 aces, three times the total of the winner.
Evans, ranked 27th, reached a Grand Slam fourth round for only the second time in his career after Melbourne four years ago.
Popyrin hit 77 winners but also had 56 unforced errors to a mere eight for Evans, who also managed 48 winners in the marathon.
Evans will immediately face another huge test in his next match with Medvedev.
“(If I) play like I did in the tiebreak for three hours (that) might get me close to the win.”
The Brit added: “It would have hurt to have lost that match, it just feels good to come through. I wasn’t thinking about anything apart from that
“I always love playing in New York, so it’s nice to get through to the fourth round.”
German Peter Gojowczyk eliminated the last Swiss on the men’s side as he defeated Henri Laaksonen 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.
Main photo: Carlos Alcaraz on his way to victory by Rhea Nall USTA