Alexander Zverev made no mistake with his second chance to beat No. 2-ranked Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday night, advancing to the Australian Open semifinals against two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev. The sixth-seeded Zverev was up a break in the third set and wasted a chance to serve out the victory, but he didn’t flinch the second time around, winning 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4.
Wimbledon champion Alcaraz was the only player to defeat 10-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam match last year. He won’t have the opportunity in Australia this time. Also read: Australian Open 2024: Daniil Medvedev takes out Hubert Hurkacz
Zverev’s first win over a top-five player at a Grand Slam resulted in a seventh major semifinal appearance. He will face Medvedev, who defeated Hubert Hurkacz in a four-hour encounter by scores of 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Zverev said he had been taking some beatings from Medvedev recently, but “maybe this will be it. Maybe this will be the place.”
He got off to a flying start against Alcaraz at Rod Laver Arena, dropping only two games on serve and finishing the first set in 29 minutes. He held Alcaraz at arm’s length and broke serve twice in the second set.
The German was serving for the match at 5-3 in the third set, almost after midnight, when Alcaraz broke for the first time.
Alcaraz got back to 5-5 when he chased a shot into the doubles alley and hit a backhand down the line, smiling a wide smile and swinging his racket in a gesture that said, “Hello, still there.”
“When you’re up 6-1, 6-3, 5-2 against a player like Carlos, you start thinking because we are all human,” Zverev said on court. “Your brain starts going and it’s not always helpful, but I’m happy I got there in the end. I fought back pretty well in the fourth set and didn’t let go.” Also read: Australian Open: Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff advanced to the quarterfinals
He won the final seven points of the tiebreaker to make it 2-1, smiling as he earned four set points by chasing a ball wide and hitting a forehand passing shot.
After an exchange of service breaks in the fourth, Zverev had another chance to win the match by breaking in the ninth game. At around 1:20 a.m. local time, the Olympic gold medalist let out a relief cry and shook his arms in jubilation after winning.