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SportAustralian Open 2024: Alcaraz out as Zverev advances to semi-finals

Australian Open 2024: Alcaraz out as Zverev advances to semi-finals

Alexander Zverev stunned second seed Carlos Alcaraz to set up an Australian Open semi-final showdown with Daniil Medvedev.

Zverev overpowered the Spaniard with a wonderful display to register his first win over a top-five ranked player at a grand slam event.

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Alcaraz fought hard after being outplayed early on and managed to take it to four sets but the German prevailed 6-1 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-4. To secure a place in the final, he’ll have to see off Medvedev, who was again taken to five sets earlier in the day before overcoming Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Zverev ought to have sewn it up sooner and admitted he started to think about getting over the finish line.

He said: “I’m playing one of the best players in the world, especially over the last two years. He’s been number one and number two in the world and won two grand slams.

“When you’re up 6-1 6-3 5-2, you start thinking…I mean we’re all human. It’s a huge honour to play against guys like him and then when you’re so close to winning, obviously your brain starts going and it’s not always helpful but I’m happy that I got it done in the end.”

The sixth seed had been taken to five sets in two of his previous three matches in Melbourne and accepted the physical exertions were starting to take their toll, adding: “Well I have a lot of blood under my toenails so that’s quite painful. I take it out [after] every single match but then obviously when you’re playing and running a lot, it comes back.

“You know what, I would much rather feel the way I’m feeling right now with maybe a bit of pain here and there and be in the semi-finals, rather than be at home and watching the tournament.

“That’s why I’m saying I’m fine. I’m happy to be here and ready to get going.”

The semi against Medvedev could be the survival of the fittest with the Russian spending a minute shy of four hours on court against Hurkacz.

“I am so destroyed right now,” he said afterwards. 

“Not that I ran out of gas, but it was very tough physically at the end of the second set.

“[In the] fourth set, I just [had] no more concentration, I just [had] to try my best to do whatever I can, and let’s see, if I lose, I lose, I go home and it’s okay.”

On the women’s side, opportunity continues to knock for Dayana Yastremska and Qinwen Zheng after they set up a last-four encounter.

Yastremska became the first qualifier since Christine Dorey in 1978 to reach the last four of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Linda Noskova.

She said: “It’s nice to make history. It’s something new for me and for my generation because the last time it happened it was a long time ago. I wasn’t born yet.

“It’s nice. I’m really happy to be in my first semi-finals.”

Twelfth seed Zheng advanced to her maiden grand slam semi courtesy of a 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-1 victory over Anna Kalinskaya.

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