Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars. (4:17)
NEW YORK — Carlos Alcaraz had waited his entire career for this moment, and this is his moment.
Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Argentine who lost to Novak Djokovic in the US Open final last year, was down a set and in danger of losing his title at Arthur Ashe Stadium as he awaited the winner of a match between his own compatriot and world No. 2 Djokovic.
After a couple hours, Alcaraz, who is 6-foot-7, made an amazing comeback to win the final 6-3, 7-5.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen last night during the first round, going back to the match I had with him last year, but I knew there was a possibility I could get here,” said Alcaraz, who took a medical timeout after a wild game in the third set of his quarterfinal against Tommy Haas. “I was so excited I didn’t sleep the whole night.”
Now, he is in the final match at the US Open to make sure he doesn’t fall short of what he has accomplished already.
“If I did it once, I can do it again,” he said.
Alcaraz, who is in a semifinal for the first time in his career, is now seeking to get to the final where he could advance to his sixth US Open final.
“After last year, I had a lot of expectations and I had not been able to achieve the same, ” Alcaraz said on the eve of the tournament. “I knew that the goal would be to reach three matches. With that goal, I prepared by practicing my serve and a lot of things. This is my first final in a major tournament.”
Djokovic, who is leading his record sixth major title, will play Switzerland’s Dominic Thiem in the semifinals. They were both the defending champions at the US Open.
“I know how important he is. He’s my rival every single day now. I always see him playing and always think that I could do better. I still believe that I have a chance to beat him, so