January 24, 2024
Sascha Zverev is through to the Australian Open semi-finals after a stunning display against Carlos Alcaraz.
For the Spaniard it may have been a case of “be careful what you wish for.”
After his previous victory, Alcaraz expressed the hope that Zverev would give him a good match in their quarter-final. But Carlitos was talking as though he was unstoppable.
Zverev certainly answered that call and gave Alcaraz a good match. In fact the German played so brilliantly that the favourite only found a rhythm when it was almost too late.
Zverev was serving for a straight sets win when the wheels almost fell off – and he was taken into an intriguing fourth.
Sascha explained what happened: ‘I was playing one of the best players in the world, someone who has been number one and number two in recent years and has won Grand Slams.
‘You start thinking. We’re only human. So close to winning, your brain starts going. It’s not helpful, but it does.’
Alcaraz suddenly caught fire and seized the momentum. But somehow Zverev held firm just when it appeared he might be swept away.
Sascha added: ‘I fought back quite well in the fourth set, I’m happy to win the match and I’m excited.’
Zverev triumphed 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4. Now he plays Daniil Medvedev, who won a marathon against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Sascha admitted: ‘He has been kicking my backside in the last year or so. But maybe this is the place all that changes.’
Sascha Zverev, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev will all be contenders at Wimbledon 2024. And all look set to go deep on this kind of form.
To win his first Grand Slam in Melbourne, however, Zverev will probably have to overcome painful toes, Medvedev and Novak Djokovic.
He explained: ‘I have a lot of blood under the toe nails, it’s quite painful. But I’d rather have a bit of pain and a place in the semi-finals than be sitting watching them at home. I’m excited!’
We’re also excited to see how the rest of the Australian Open unfolds. Coco Gauff’s semi-final match against Aryna Sabalenka is another irresistible attraction.
And when the tennis tour reaches the manicured lawns of the All England Club, every match is going to be unmissable. It’s the most prestigious Grand Slam of them all.
Sascha Zverev could finally come good on grass at Wimbledon 2024. And we may bid emotional farewells to the legendary Rafael Nadal and Sir Andy Murray.
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