Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars
By John Chodos / MLB.com
AT THE US Open last year, Frances Tiafoe defeated Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 6-3, in the first round.
Fast-forward to the 2020 final — a matchup of rising stars on different sides of the tennis world: Alcaraz, a 24-year-old from Colombia and the No. 21 seed for the US Open, the second-highest seed in the field, and Tiafoe, a young 20-year-old from New York, the top seed after winning three titles on the U.S. Open’s main-draw side in 2019.
Alcaraz came up big in his first-round match Thursday night to knock out the top-seeded Spaniard 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
“I feel like I could beat him, and I just have to keep believing in myself,” Alcaraz said. “I started winning when I lost all the first rounds, so I feel like I can win at home.”
Alcaraz said that there is a lot of “heart” and “will” that he brings to the game, making him a tough matchup for Tiafoe, the No. 2 seed.
“I’m not a good kid with much to say. I’m a really bad kid with a lot to say,” Alcaraz said with a chuckle. “But I’m just going to talk to you until you give me something to say.”
He was once ranked No. 1 in the world, but since turning pro in 2018, Alcaraz has struggled to recapture the success he enjoyed at the end of last season. He has been ranked in the teens since July 2017, so much of his tennis success is going to be based on consistency.