Alexander Zverev beat Carlos Alcaraz, considered one of the main candidates for the final victory of the Australian Open 2024, qualifying for the semi-finals. A match won with great merit and conducted with great personality, except for a moment of blackout which cost him the third set.
The one against the Spaniard was his first victory against a top 5 player in the Slams, a result that after the terrible injury two years ago makes him particularly proud. A victory that sweeps away (at least for the moment) the controversies relating to his private life and the legal proceedings relating to the alleged domestic violence perpetrated against his ex-girlfriend.
"I had a bit of a difficult time at the end, but it's also thanks to him. Carlos started playing his best tennis when he was down 5-2 in the third. Against him you have to be perfect. And I have been having a great start. I ran a lot, playing very aggressively. To win against him you have to play like this.
If you let him control the pace of the game he's unbeatable. He is perhaps the best in the world when it comes to this. I'm extremely happy to be back where I am and to be able to win these kinds of games again.
The injury held me back when I was in top shape. I was at my best level so far in my career. Last year, in fact, for the first part of the season, or actually for the whole year, I was not a candidate for the Slams. If I am now, I'm very happy about it," he explained.
The next opponent will be Daniil Medvedev, an opponent with whom he has already had several precedents. Last year the Russian prevailed 5 times out of 6 matches.
"He was playing the best tennis of his life and I was coming back from a serious injury. I didn't have the confidence in the decisive moments and this is decisive. This is what happened in Indian Wells, but also in Monte-Carlo. That said, it's extremely difficult to deal with. He is one of the best players in the world at the moment. But obviously I'm happy with the position I'm in and I'll do everything to win the match on Friday," said Zverev
The words of Carlitos Alcaraz: "I am disappointed"
Alcaraz analyzed the match very clearly in the press conference and recognized that he had not expressed the same level shown in the previous rounds.
"I'm grateful to have played great tennis at the end of the third set. At the beginning of the fourth, however, I was not able to express the same level. It was a shame, but I still found a way to break him and stay in the game. I didn't take advantage of my opportunities.
I had a lot of ups and downs and didn't serve well. He responded well and it wasn't easy to handle the pressure. I have to improve and keep working. We will see what happens in the future," said Alcaraz before focusing on the expectations of him and the absence of him in his box of Juan Carlos Ferrero.
The Spanish coach was unable to follow his student to Australia due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
"It was a great tournament for me: I reached the quarterfinals and played some great tennis. I'm disappointed and sad about the level expressed today, because I did much better in the previous rounds. I didn't serve with the same percentages as in the other matches. But I leave the tournament happy overall. The quarter-finals represent a good result, not what I'm looking for and want but it's not bad. I had a lot of confidence before this match. Did Ferrero's absence have an impact? No. I was playing great tennis even without him. I trust the people in my garage in Australia 100%."
Alcaraz finally spoke about the four semi-finalists and, in particular, the match between Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner.
"I think all the players in the semi-final can beat Djokovic. It's not easy to overcome Novak in any tournament, but in a Slam it's even more difficult. But he has to face Sinner, who is displaying incredible tennis. He hasn't dropped a set yet in this tournament, which means he has the skills to beat Novak. I'll watch the game, obviously."
Too many mistakes were made in important moments of the match and missed opportunities in the fourth set; a set that could have definitively reopened the challenge.