CARLOS ALCARAZ’S hopes of winning a third Grand Slam ended in Melbourne on Wednesday when he was beaten by Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
The world number two lost 1-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), and 4-6 to the sixth seed, who romped through the first two sets after a poor start by the 20-year-old player from Murcia.
Alcaraz, who had previously won against Novak Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final after losing the opening set 6-1, could not repeat such a feat, and his chances of playing the Serbian 24-time Slam winner in Sunday’s final were dashed.
Zverev, who served for the match in the third set, 5-2 up was broken by Alcaraz who then won the tie-breaker.
The German player in his post-game courtside interview knew that nailing the Spaniard even at that stage was not going to be straight-forward.
“Look, I’m playing one of the best players in the world, especially over the last two years he’s been number one or number two constantly,” Zverev told Jim Courier. “He’s won two Grand Slams.”
“When you’re 6-1, 6-3, 5-2, you start thinking. I mean, we’re all human and it’s a great honour to play against guys like him”.
“Then when you’re so close to winning, obviously your brain starts going and it’s not always helpful. But I’m happy I got to the end. I fought back quite well in the fourth set, didn’t let go and I’m very happy that I finished the match.”
Zverev, 26, had never beaten a current top five player in a Grand Slam and he will have to do it again to progress further with a semi-final clash against Daniil Medvedev on Friday.
Carlos Alcaraz had an excellent 2023, winning 65 of 77 matches and scoring title-winning runs in Argentina, Barcelona, Madrid, Queen’s Club, and Indian Wells.
He also won his second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.