US Open Day 10 Preview: Carlos Alcaraz & Jannik Sinner Collide – ATP Tour

The growing #NextGenATP rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner arrives in New York on Wednesday, when two of the sport’s biggest young talents meet for a third tour-level meeting of the season in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The last American in the draw, Frances Tiafoe, will attempt to back up his stunning fourth-round win over Rafael Nadal when he faces Andrey Rublev, as all four quarter-finalists in the bottom half of the draw bid to reach the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time.

ATPTour.com previews the quarter-final action on Day 10 at Flushing Meadows.

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[3] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [11] Jannik Sinner (ITA)

In a year full of milestones for Alcaraz, the Spaniard is closing on his two biggest achievements to date: lifting his maiden Grand Slam trophy and becoming the youngest World No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. To get there, however he must do something he has not managed in two previous attempts in 2022 — defeat Jannik Sinner.

The former Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champions met in an exhilarating fourth-round clash at Wimbledon in July, the Grand Slam curtain-raiser for a rivalry that is set to light up the majors for years to come. It was Sinner who triumphed in four sets on the grass in London and the Italian backed that up with an impressive three-set win on clay in the championship match in Umag in July to lift his sixth tour-level title.

“I played a couple of times against him. He’s a great player, a really, really tough one,” said Alcaraz, who now trails Sinner 1-2 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series. “I lost twice in the past two months, so I will have to be ready for this battle against Jannik.”

Alcaraz held off Marin Cilic in five sets in the fourth round on Monday to match his quarter-final run in New York from a year ago. If he can get past Sinner and then go on to claim his maiden major crown, he is guaranteed to rise to World No. 1 on Monday. Reaching the final might also be enough for the 19-year-old to make history, so long as Casper Ruud does not also reach the championship match. Read More On The Battle For No. 1.

Sinner checked a box of his own with his five-set triumph against Ilya Ivashka on Monday. In advancing to the last eight in New York for the first time, the Italian became the youngest player since Novak Djokovic (20, in 2007-08) to complete a set of quarter-final appearances at all four Grand Slams.

Despite those appearances in the last eight, Sinner is yet to reach a major semi-final. Doing so in New York could be particularly significant for the 21-year-old, who needs a deep run to boost his chances of qualifying for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. Sinner currently lies in 14th place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin but could rise as high as fifth if he can lift the title in New York.

[9] Andrey Rublev vs. [22] Frances Tiafoe

Tiafoe’s stunning four-set triumph against Nadal in the fourth round on Monday highlighted the American’s show-stopping abilities on the court. Yet the 22nd seed believes some small off-court adjustments have been crucial to his strong showings this fortnight as he prepares for his maiden US Open quarter-final against Andrey Rublev.

“I’m starting to know how to really come to Slams and be ready,” said Tiafoe, who opened with three straight-sets victories this year in New York. “I think getting to the second week, not losing a set, helps. Things like that. Resting. I haven’t [gone] to dinner out once. Doing Uber Eats and stuff, just chilling.

”Yeah, I’m just kind of approaching this a lot different.”

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Tiafoe’s clash with Rublev represents a meeting of two big hitters who are particularly powerful off the forehand wing. As well as similarities in their playing styles, the 24-year-olds also share the spoils in their ATP Head2Head series — Tiafoe edged Rublev in a five-set epic in the third round in New York a year ago, but the World No. 11 avenged that loss with a straight sets victory against the American in Indian Wells in March.

“[He is] a tough player,” said Rublev of Tiafoe, who is the youngest American to reach the last eight in New York since Andy Roddick in 2006. “We played a couple of times. I lost to him last year here at the US Open.

“For sure he will try to use the energy, the crowd, to be more pumped, to play better tennis. I just, with him, I need to wait for my moment and use it.”

It will be a second major quarter-final for Tiafoe, while Rublev is 0-5 at this stage of Grand Slams, with three of those defeats coming in New York. Having already survived five-set battles against Laslo Djere and Denis Shapovalov this fortnight in New York, the 11-time tour-level titlist will hope his time has come to break that duck on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

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