Number 1 vs. 12, two Grand Slam titles vs. zero, sprinter vs. marathon man!
The comparisons before the quarterfinals at the US Open between Alexander Zverev (26) and Carlos Alcaraz (20) are clear. Fortunately, the game will not be decided in the statistics, but in New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium (about 3 a.m. next night, Sportdeutschland.TV live)
After a half-year injury break, the Olympic champion has only been on tour again since January. His advantage starting in July: he has no points to defend until the end of the year. He fell back to rank 27 in May, has since fought his way back up to rank 12 and will be in the top 10 on Monday.
Shock at Zverev victory ER causes the Hitler scandal!
Source: AP, Reuters, Twitter, PICTURE 09/05/2023
Defending champion Alcaraz, on the other hand, will have to give up his place in the sun to Novak Djokovic (36), that was already clear after his first round victory. The Serb only had a few points to defend this year and was able to win many new ones, as he was often not allowed to play in 2022 due to a lack of corona vaccination.
Alcaraz, on the other hand, pulled through, took number 1 and was therefore unable to win as many new points as Djokovic. Hence the changing of the guard on 9/11.
Incidentally, Zverev has never won against a top five player in a Grand Slam tournament. So here beckons a premiere.
One of the few statistics that speaks for Zverev: In a direct duel, the Hamburger leads 3: 2 against the Spaniard. At the Masters in Madrid, Alcaraz swept Zverev 6: 1, 6: 2, and in 2022 in the quarterfinals of the French Open the German was ahead in four sets. That was also the most important duel between the two so far.
However, these encounters took place on clay, on which both do well, as well as on hard court. Alcaraz won in New York in 2022, Zverev was in the final here in 2020, which he lost to Austrian Dominic Thiem (30).
Zverev won both games against Alcaraz on hard court, in Acapulco and Vienna in 2021. That was a long time ago and, two years later, hardly allows any conclusions to be drawn.
The most obvious difference: Alcaraz has been on the pitch for a total of 8:36 hours in his four games so far. Zverev, and this number is awesome, almost an unbelievable six hours more: 14:15 hours. Sprinters versus marathon runners, one might say.
Photo: ED JONES/AFP
The 4:41 hours against Jannik Sinner (22) in the round of 16 is the longest match of this year’s US Open. “In the fourth set, nothing worked for me, I was totally devastated, completely tired,” he said after the five-set thriller.
“The toughest match ever. But that’s what I live for, what I love to do. But it’s one of the best moments of my career after the comeback,” he said. What else is in this wear and tear? “I want to play, that’s what I’m here for. I will be ready. Yes, of course, something is up.” He has 44 hours to recover.
Photo: COREY SIPKIN/AFP
However, Alcaraz is not free from worries either. The Wimbledon winner last played with a bandaged left thigh. “For me it is normal that pain occurs in the body and you have to take care of it. It’s nothing serious, it was just preventive.”
Finally, there is praise for Zverev from the young star. “It will be a very, very close match. We had great games. He plays really, really well. This year he’s at his top level again.” Hopefully he’ll keep it that way on Thursday night.
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