What a performance! Alexander Zverev defeated Carlos Alcaraz, number two in the tennis world, with an impressive performance in Melbourne. Now it’s in the semi-finals against their arch rivals.
With an impressive tennis gala, Alexander Zverev disenchanted Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the second time in his career. The Olympic champion clearly won against the Spanish world number two in Melbourne on Wednesday 6:1, 6:3, 6:7 (2:7), 6:4 and showed an almost flawless performance. After 3:06 hours, Zverev converted his first match point and then raised his arms in celebration.
“I played against one of the best players in the world. When you’re so close to victory, you start to think. I think that’s human,” said Zverev after the high-class game. “I have a lot of blood under my toenails. But I’d rather have a little pain and be here in the semi-finals than sit at home on the sofa without pain.” Tennis legend Boris Becker was thrilled. “That was a fabulous performance. He also kept his nerve,” said Becker as a TV expert at Eurosport.
Arch-rival Daniil Medvedev is waiting in the semifinals
In the semi-finals on Friday, Zverev will face his arch rival Daniil Medvedev. The Russian had previously defeated Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7:6 (7:4), 2:6, 6:3, 5:7, 6:4 in his quarter-final and thus reached the semi-finals for the third time in Melbourne. In 2021 and 2022 he even reached the final on the Yarra River, but had to admit defeat first to Novak Djokovic (Serbia) and then Rafael Nadal (Spain). In the other semi-final, defending champion Djokovic and the Italian Jannik Sinner meet.
Zverev got off to a furious start in the fully occupied Rod Laver Arena. Unlike in the previous rounds, the Hamburg native appeared highly concentrated from the start and impressed Alcaraz with powerful groundstrokes and strong service. Zverev managed an early break and after just 29 minutes he took the first set with an ace. It was by far the best performance from the German number one in this tournament – and for many months.
Zverev had no good memories of the last comparison with Alcaraz at a Grand Slam tournament. In the quarterfinals of the US Open last September he clearly lost in three sets and had no chance. However, Zverev had previously won an epic round of 16 against Sinner over five sets in 4:41 hours.
Alexander Zverez plays with incredible dominance
“I don’t feel like I did at the US Open, when I was completely dead. I was physically exhausted,” Zverev said before the game. This time he was tired after two five-set matches in the previous rounds. “But I’m not in as bad a condition as I was at the US Open. So I think it will be a completely different match.”
And Zverev was right. Because he maintained his high level in the second set too. Alcaraz improved now, but Zverev held on. With the score at 2:3, he survived the first critical moment of the game with flying colors and fended off two break points. Immediately afterwards, he took the service from the Spaniard himself – after just over 70 minutes, Zverev was leading 2-0 sets.
Alcaraz looked desperately at his coaching team in the stands, the spectators watched Zverev’s dominance, which was hardly thought possible, in disbelief. A murmur went through the arena when Zverev opened the third set with a confident service game. The world number six managed the next break to make it 3-1.
This seemed to finally break Alcaraz’s resistance. The Spaniard continued to make many avoidable mistakes, but Zverev played through his game mercilessly. But when he served to win the match at 5:3, Zverev suddenly showed nerves. Alcaraz managed the break, now the Spaniard was suddenly there and took the third set in the tiebreak. But Zverev fought back and resisted the turnaround with impressive energy. In the fourth set, Alcaraz came close to breaking a few times, but Zverev held on and deserved to win.
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