Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz booked his place in the Western and Southern Open semi-finals in Cincinnati after narrowly beating Australian Max Purcell 4-6 6-3 6-4.

The world No 1 fought back from a set down to confirm his place in the last four, where he will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

Purcell, ranked 70th in the world, put the Wimbledon champion on the back foot with a series of quality shots to claim the first set 6-4 but the 20-year-old found his rhythm to take the second set 6-3.

August 18, 2023: Max Purcell (AUS) loses to Carlos Alcaraz (ESP), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Western & Southern Open being played at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, {USA} ....Leslie Billman/Tennisclix/Cal Sport Media (Credit Image: .. Leslie Billman/Cal Sport Media) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
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August 18, 2023: Max Purcell (AUS) loses to Carlos Alcaraz (ESP), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Western & Southern Open being played at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, {USA} ….Leslie Billman/Tennisclix/Cal Sport Media (Credit Image: .. Leslie B

Alcaraz broke immediately in the decider and had four break points in the third game of the set, but Purcell fought back to level at 2-2. The Spaniard then broke to love in the ninth game and saved a break point on his way to serving out the match.

“It was really tough,” Alcaraz told ATP’s website. “It was tricky today. He served really well. I think he played well at the net, but I think I played well. I returned well on court and that was the key to getting the win today, to return very well and to focus.”

August 18, 2023: Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated Max Purcell (AUS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, at the Western & Southern Open being played at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. ....Leslie Billman/Tennisclix/CSM (Credit Image: .. Leslie Billman/Cal Sport Media) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
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Carlos Alcaraz battled back from a set down to reach the semi-finals in Cincinnati

Hurkacz powered past Alexei Popyrin 6-1 7-6 (8) to reach his first Cincinnati semi-final. The world No 20 did not face a single break point, but did let a 6-1 lead slip in the tie-break before prevailing 10-8.

Later that evening world No 2 Novak Djokovic powered past Taylor Fritz 6-0 6-4 to set up a semi-final meeting with Alexander Zverev.

August 18, 2023, Mason, Ohio, USA: Novak Djokovic (SRB) hits a two-handed backhand during Friday's round of the Western and Southern Open at the  Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Oh. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
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August 18, 2023, Mason, Ohio, USA: Novak Djokovic (SRB) hits a two-handed backhand during Friday’s round of the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Oh. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Djokovic needed just 61 minutes to demolish the ninth seed, with the Serbian – who won the final four games of the match – converting all five of his break opportunities.

“I just managed to get off the blocks really strong, played an almost perfect, flawless first set,” Djokovic said. “Then I started off really poorly in the second and handed him the break, but from 2-4 down, I played really four solid games in the second. Just overall a great performance.”

Zverev thrashed Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-3, winning 85 per cent of his first-serve points (29 of 34). Djokovic holds a 7-4 advantage in head-to-head meetings with Zverev, although the German won two of the past three matchups.

When is the US Open live on Sky Sports?

The US Open returns to Sky Sports on Monday August 28 with the promise to give fans live coverage of the Grand Slam like never before.

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With just weeks to go until the US Open returns to Sky Sports, we take a look at the leading contenders to win the tournament.

Sky Sports has access to all individual court feeds and will broadcast a minimum of 135 hours of competition throughout the two-week Grand Slam tournament.

Sky Sports subscribers on Sky Glass, Sky Stream, Sky Q, and the Sky Sports app will be able to watch all courts for the first time on Sky Sports.

Across Sky Sports’ linear channels and on Sky Sports digital and social channels, tennis fans can enjoy extensive coverage, including both the men’s and women’s tournaments, alongside respective doubles, mixed doubles, juniors, and wheelchair competitions.

Watch the US Open – live on Sky Sports – from Monday, August 28. Stream the US Open and more with NOW for £26 a month for 12 months.

By Sandra Winters

Writer | Author | Wordsmith Passionate about crafting stories that captivate and inspire. Published author of [Book Title]. Dedicated to exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences through the power of words. Join me on this literary journey as we delve into the realms of imagination and uncover the beauty of storytelling.