Alcaraz becomes youngest player in Open era to reach men's QF at Flushing Meadows

Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player in the Open era to reach the quarter-finals of the men's tournament at Flushing Meadows after the 18-year-old Spaniard beat Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 on Sunday.

Carlos Alcaraz in action.   -  AP

Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest player in the Open era to reach the quarterfinals of the men's tournament at Flushing Meadows after the 18-year-old Spaniard beat Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 on Sunday.

Alcaraz, who is 18 years and four months old, is eight days younger than Andre Agassi when the American reached the 1988 U.S. Open quarter-finals and semi-finals, according to U.S. Open stats.

The Spaniard is also the youngest to reach this stage in New York since Brazilian Thomaz Koch in 1963, five years before the sport turned professional when the tournament was known as the U.S. Championships.

"It's really tough to play these kind of matches, to play fifth sets," Alcaraz told reporters.

"I hope to play more second weeks, to play more quarterfinals of Grand Slams. I didn't expect to play (in the) quarterfinals here."

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Gojowczyk, 14 years older than Alcaraz and playing in the fourth round of a major for the first time, made a bright start to edge the first set, but was hampered by an injury to his thigh and took a medical timeout midway through the fourth.

The German fought hard but faded badly as the match wore on, labouring behind the baseline as Alcaraz closed out the match with a bagel in the decider, sealing victory in three hours, 31 minutes when Gojowczyk sent a forehand sailing long.

Alcaraz smashed 35 winners and seven aces while winning 15 points at the net, feeding off the energy of the vocal crowd on Grandstand, while his opponent ended the match with a whopping 84 unforced errors.

"In the first sets, I thought that I reached my limit physically and mentally. I think the crowd was really, really important for me in this situation," Alcaraz added.

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"I felt the energy of the crowd pushing me up... without the crowd, it couldn't be possible to be here."

Next up for the Spaniard is 12th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who dispatched American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-4.

Both players came into the tie at Arthur Ashe Stadium on the back of tough five-setters and it was 23-year-old Tiafoe who started the brighter, going up a break after the first game and shutting down all eight of the Canadian's break point opportunities to go up 1-0.

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Auger-Aliassime, 21, came roaring back in the second set, however, winning all but one of his first-serve points and making just four unforced errors to level the match.

Auger-Aliassime seeded 12th, rocketed four aces in the ninth game of the third set and twice had a chance to close out the set in the 10th but American Tiafoe dug in his heels to hold serve and fire up his fans in the New York crowd.

Feeding off the energy, Tiafoe then went 3-1 up in a tie break but Auger-Aliassime battled back before clinching the final three points to close out the set.

Auger-Aliassime broke to kick off the fourth set and immediately fought off three break points to hold his serve, going on to clinch the match with a forehand winner and reach his second consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal.

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