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US Open 2021: Third Seed Stefanos Tsitsipas Upset by Spanish Teen Carlos Alcaraz

Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz stunned Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday at the US Open, becoming the youngest man into the fourth round at New York in 32 years.

Alcaraz outlasted the French Open runner-up 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 0-6, 7-6 (7/5) to reach the last 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time, denying Tsitsipas his first fourth-round US Open appearance.

Alcaraz is the youngest man in the US Open fourth round since 17-year-old American Michael Chang in 1989 and at any Slam since Ukraine’s Andrei Medvedev in the 1992 French Open.

“Incredible. Incredible feeling for me,” Alcaraz said. “This victory means a lot to me. It’s the best match of my career, the best win.

“To beat Stefanos Tsitsipas is a dream come true and to win here is even more special for me.”

Alcaraz became the youngest man to beat a top-3 player at the US Open since the rankings began in 1973 and to do so anywhere since Denis Shapovalov beat then-number two Rafael Nadal in 2017 at Montreal.

World number 55 Alcaraz next faces 141st-ranked German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, who ousted Swiss Henri Laaksonen 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

Alcaraz won his first ATP title at Umag in July, becoming the tour’s youngest champion since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in 2008 at Delray Beach.

The teen nicknamed “Next Nadal” was the crowd darling at Arthur Ashe Stadium, roars erupting when he blasted 33 winners past Tsitsipas.

“Without this crowd I haven’t the possibility to win the match,” Alcaraz said. “I was down at the beginning of the fourth set so thank you to the crowd for pushing me up in the fifth.”

Tsitsipas opened the final tie-break with an ace but Alcaraz jumped ahead 5-2 and 6-3 before finishing matters after four hours and seven minutes with a forehand winner. He collapsed to the court on his back to celebrate.

“It’s one of those matches where you feel like you’re in control and it doesn’t go your way,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s kind of bitter.”

In the third set, Tsitsipas broke in the fifth and seventh games for a 5-2 edge only for Alcaraz to break in the eighth and 10th to set up a tie-break.

Down 4-1 in the tie-break, Tsitsipas was warned for a coaching violation then double faulted. Three points later, Alcaraz blasted a backhand winner to capture the set.

Moments later, fans booed as Tsitsipas left for a bathroom trip, making a quick return, the break just over five minutes. Then for a second consecutive match, he won a set without dropping a game after a toilet trip, forcing the fifth.

Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev, the 2019 US Open and 2021 Australian Open runner-up, beat Spain’s 74th-ranked Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4, 6-3. He’s next face British 24th seed Daniel Evans.

“I was playing good and really happy with my level,” Medvedev said. “The main positive was to win in three sets.”

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was set to face Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez in an Arthur Ashe Stadium night match, with the winner advancing to meet German 16th seed Angelique Kerber.

– Muguruza, Halep advance –

Spanish ninth seed Garbine Muguruza outlasted 18th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in a showdown of two-time Grand Slam champions and former world number ones.

Muguruza matched her best US Open showing from 2017 by defeating the three-time US Open runner-up in the only Slam where the Spaniard hasn’t reached the final.

“It’s a Grand Slam where I’ve been struggling,” Muguruza said. “This year it’s working so I want to keep going.”

Next up for Muguruza will be Czech eighth seed Barbora Krejcíková, the reigning French Open champion who beat Russian Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4, 6-2.

Romanian 12th seed Simona Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion battling back after an injury layoff, ousted 19th seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 7-6 (13/11), 4-6, 6-3 after two hours and 25 minutes.

“Every match is a semi-final,” Halep said. “The level is super high.”

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