Carlos Alcaraz reaches US Open quarterfinal with late-night win against Marin Cilic
CARLSBAD, Calif. — Carlos Alcaraz, in his first final at the U.S. Open, won his first match of the tournament in three tries Wednesday, downing the defending champion Marin Cilic in three sets.
Alcaraz, a Mexican-American, was the first American to reach the quarterfinals since Markpresenter, who won in 1992. He was the first Hispanic player to reach the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
Alcaraz, at 36, became the oldest American to have reached a U.S. Open final since the tournament began in 1894. He was one of four players to defeat the field’s top-ranked player, Rafael Nadal. Alcaraz beat Cilic, who reached the semifinals a year ago, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, in a match that lasted more than four hours.
Alcaraz, who had never won a match on clay, was making his United States Open debut since his defeat of Nadal in the 2017 final. Alcaraz, who joined Roger Federer as the only men to reach three consecutive U.S. Open semifinals, came back to beat the 12th-seeded Croatian player.
Cilic, the highest-ranked American player ever, was making his debut at the U.S. Open after his surprise win over Kevin Anderson in the third round.
“It was one of the toughest matches I have ever played,” Cilic said. “It was very emotional.”
The players had warmed up together before the match. When Cilic was first introduced to Alcaraz, the two-time clay-court Grand Slam champion said, “I’m going to be a little bit selfish here. I’m going to do a little bit more than you. I love you. This is going to be one of the greatest U.S