The Sun (Malaysia)

Alcaraz passes test

Medvedev halts Baez to reach last 16 of US Open


WORLD NO. 1 Carlos Alcaraz surged into the last 16 of the US Open yesterday as Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur kept her dream of a first Grand Slam title alive with victory in a three-set thriller.

Alcaraz, looking to become the first man to successful­ly defend the title since Roger Federer in 2008, produced a flurry of magical shots en route to dispatchin­g British 26th seed Dan Evans 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

It was another stylish victory for the 20-year-old Spaniard, who will face Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi in the fourth round on Monday.

The Spaniard kept Evans on the back foot with his booming forehand while delighting the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd with several of his signature forehand drop shots.

Alcaraz also conjured one of the shots of the tournament to clinch a decisive break in the fourth set, curling a logicdefyi­ng forehand up the line past Evans for a 4-2 lead.

Alcaraz, who will surrender his world No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic at the end of this tournament, admitted he was motivated by matching Federer in defending his crown.

“Obviously defending the title is a goal for me,” he said. “I’m looking for that. Nobody’s done it here since Roger so I’d love to be part of tournament history with him.”

Alcaraz’s win keeps him on track for a repeat quarterfin­al against Italy’s Jannik Sinner, a year after the two men dueled in an epic five-hour five-setter.

Sixth seed Sinner did his part to keep the rematch on course yesterday with a stylish 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka.

Alcaraz’s last-16 opponent Arnaldi, meanwhile, advanced after upsetting 16thseeded Briton Cameron Norrie, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours.

Jack Draper, another member of Britain’s US Open contingent, reached the last 16 with a 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory over American world No. 89 Michael Mmoh. He will face Russian Andrey Rublev today for a place in the quarterfin­als.

Meanwhile Russia’s 2021 US Open champion and third seed Daniil Medvedev made it safely into the last 16 in a late-night 62, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Argentina’s Sebastian Baez.

“I just want to go to sleep, that’s it. Nothing more,” said Medvedev after the match.

“When you go to play at 11pm it just feels tough. This time I decided not to sleep before and I ate, so I was feeling pretty bad on the court. That’s why I was nervous all the match.” – AFP/Reuters

 ?? ?? Alcaraz. – AFPPIX
Alcaraz. – AFPPIX

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