Carlos Alcaraz moved a step closer to defending his US Open title after sweeping past Alexander Zverev to reach the semi-finals.

The Spanish world number one became the second man in the Open era, behind Andre Agassi, to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows three times before turning 21.

Alcaraz, looking to do the Wimbledon and US Open double, will face Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev in Friday night’s semis and remains on course for another final showdown with Novak Djokovic, who he beat in July’s epic SW19 showpiece.

Zverev, the German 12th seed, has proved he is back at the top of the sport this fortnight after eight months out following the horror ankle injury he suffered against Rafael Nadal at last year’s French Open.

But the 2020 runner-up was unable to halt the Alcaraz juggernaut in a 6-3 6-2 6-4 defeat inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The first set was evenly poised on serve at 3-3 when Alcaraz, by no means at his electric best, took control of the match.

He won six of the next seven games to go a set and a break up, and Zverev needed a medical time-out after Alcaraz, clapping sawdust onto his hands to get a better grip of his racket on a horribly humid night, moved two sets ahead.

Zverev forced two break points at 2-2 in the third, but when they disappeared his chances went with them as Alcaraz broke for 5-4 and served out for the victory in two hours and 29 minutes.

“To see him in the quarter-finals of a grand slam playing at his best, I’m so happy,” said Alcaraz of his opponent.

“We enjoy his game and we are really happy to have him back.”

The 20-year-old added: “I’m feeling comfortable playing in this court, playing in New York.

“I’m showing my best level. I’m feeling good physically and ready for a good battle in the semi-final.”

Daniil Medvedev warned a player could die in the 90-degree heat at the US Open.

Medvedev needed medical attention and an inhaler as he struggled in the hot and humid conditions before beating his fellow Russian Andrey Rublev.

The roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium was partially closed to protect the players from the sunlight, but both were visibly wilting during the two hour 48-minute battle.

Late in the third set, when Medvedev went to his towel, he said into a television camera: “One player is gonna die and they’re gonna see.”

Following his 6-4 6-3 6-4 quarter-final victory, the 2021 champion recalled an incident earlier this summer when Chinese player Wu Yibing collapsed during a match in Washington.

He said: “I could talk a lot, brutal conditions for both of us.

“I mean, I don’t know if it could be seen through the camera, because we are sweating so much and use a lot of towels.

“I have no skin left on my nose here, and, like, here it’s red, but it’s not because of the sun so it’s not like you’re burned but I have no skin left.”

He continued: “I just saw Andrey in the locker room and his face is very red, and it’s also not because of the sun so I guess it’s the same. That tells everything, like we left everything out there.

“The thing is that even if it would go further, I think we would still leave even more. Then I don’t think I had anything left but if the match would go on, I would find something more.

“And the only thing that is a little bit, let’s call it dangerous, is the question how far could we go? Maybe we could go five sets and it would be… when I say ‘fine’, yeah, we would struggle a little bit next day and it would be fine, or we have a person in Wu who fell down.”

Medvedev said he felt shaky as he tried to recover from the match.

“I’m feeling kind of okay now. I’m just pretty exhausted. Let’s say, yeah, do couple of interviews here and there straightaway, and it was tough.

“I was with an ice towel there. Everything was foggy, like I couldn’t see clearly. Because the match is over, so the adrenaline is not there anymore.

“So I was, like, a little bit shaky. Then I come to the locker room and that’s the toughest part because you kind of want to just sit there for hours. But you know that if you do it, it’s not a good recovery.”

He continued: “So I sat there for, like, 10, 15 minutes, went and did a quick ice bath. Changed. Went to eat. But had, I don’t know how you call it in English, when sugar blood, sugar levels go up. I started sweating, my head started turning.

“I said to my team please bring me any food. I was sitting there like this sweating like hell even with the AC on, and they brought some food and then I felt better. Yeah, that’s how it is sometimes.”

Rublev, who has now lost nine out of nine quarter-final matches at grand slams, said: “I’m not even thinking about my health.

“I don’t know. At this moment, these moments I’m thinking that I need to fight. Doesn’t matter how, it’s tough.

“I mean, the sport is not easy. And you need to be ready for everything that can happen.”

Daniil Medvedev won the all-Russian clash at the US Open to deal his friend Andrey Rublev more quarter-final misery.

Third seed Medvedev, the 2021 champion at Flushing Meadows, lost the opening three games of the match as Rublev flew out of the blocks.

The world number eight, who is godfather to Medvedev’s daughter, won the first eight points and 14 out of the first 15.

But Medvedev quickly grew into the match, winning the first two sets amid some punishing rallies in stifling heat inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Rublev led by a break in the third but was pegged back again, and in a 15-minute final game, Medvedev converted match point at the fifth attempt to wrap up a 6-4 6-3 6-4 victory.

Luckless Rublev has now made the quarter-final stage in nine grand slams, and he has lost all of them.

“It was brutal,” said Medvedev. “The only good thing is in these conditions both suffer.

“I know he never gives up, but he knows I never give up too.”

Aryna Sabalenka flexed her muscles as the incoming world number one by beating Chinese youngster Zheng Qinwen to reach the US Open semi-finals.

The second seed from Belarus will take over from Iga Swiatek at the top of the rankings on Monday, ending the Pole’s 75-week reign.

She cruised into the last four at Flushing Meadows for the third straight year with a commanding 6-1 6-4 victory in an hour and 13 minutes.

Zheng, 20, playing in her first grand slam quarter-final, won just four of the first 24 points of the match as Sabalenka raced into a 5-0 lead.

She stopped the bleeding by holding serve in the sixth game, but Sabalenka wrapped up the first set in only 27 minutes.

Zheng, seeded 23, restored some pride in the second but a break in the seventh game ensured Sabalenka became the first woman to reach the semi-finals of all four grand slams in the same year since Serena Williams in 2016.

The 25-year-old has dropped just 21 games in the 10 sets she has played over five rounds in New York.

She said: “I definitely played great tennis. I’m super happy with the performance tonight and to give myself a chance to do better in the semis.

“I’m going to do everything I can to stay until the end.”

Novak Djokovic broke yet another record as he reached the last four at the US Open.

The 36-year-old’s straight-sets win over Taylor Fritz saw him into the last four of a grand slam for the 47th time, overtaking Roger Federer’s tally.

Meanwhile, Coco Gauff became the first American teenager since Serena Williams in 2001 to reach the semi-finals.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at day eight at Flushing Meadows:

Pic of the dayPerformance of the day

Gauff dropped just two games as she blitzed Jelena Ostapenko 6-0 6-2 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 19-year-old handed out a New York bagel in the first set to Latvian Ostapenko in only 20 minutes.

Quote of the dayStat of the daySong of the dayBrit watch

Defending champions Joe Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram are into the semi-finals of the men’s doubles.

Salisbury and Ram won the opening set against Argentinian duo Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 6-4 and came from 3-0 behind in the second by winning six games in a row.

Wimbledon boys’ champion Henry Searle lost in three sets to American Trevor Svajda in the second round of the juniors.

Fallen seeds

Women: Jelena Ostapenko (20), Sorana Cirstea (30).
Men: Taylor Fritz (9).

Who’s up next

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz takes on Alexander Zverev for a place in the semi-finals.

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka faces surprise package Qinwen Zheng of China.

Novak Djokovic kept his cool in the New York heat to reach the semi-finals of the US Open and break yet another record.

The ice-cold Serbian is through to the last four of a grand slam for the 47th time, moving him one ahead of Roger Federer’s tally, after a 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Taylor Fritz.

The roof was half-closed on Arthur Ashe to shield the players from the 90 degree temperatures amid energy-sapping humidity at Flushing Meadows.

American Fritz has been red hot all fortnight, not dropping a single set on his way to the last 16, but he was ruthlessly extinguished by the 23-time grand slam champion.

A demoralised Fritz has now lost all eight matches he has played against Djokovic.

The ninth seed hit more winners – 33 to Djokovic’s 25 – but he was simply ground down by the 36-year-old with a grand total of 51 unforced errors telling its own story.

He also forced 12 break points but converted only two of them, the second of which levelled the third set at 4-4 and prompted Djokovic to shoo some of his own supporters out of one of the executive suites.

But Djokovic immediately hit back, the three-time winner then saving another break point before completing the victory in two hours and 35 minutes to silence a partisan American crowd.

Djokovic said: “It’s expected that people are backing the home player, there’s nothing wrong with that. I like the atmosphere here, I’m fine with that and I thrive on that energy.

“I’ve been playing on this court for many years, played many epic matches, and I’m looking forward to another one in a few days.

“It’s a huge opportunity every time I step out on the court and at my age I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll get.”

Coco Gauff became the first American teenager since Serena Williams in 2001 to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

The 19-year-old dropped just two games as she blitzed Jelena Ostapenko 6-0 6-2 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Latvian Ostapenko, the 20th seed, had blown the women’s draw wide open when she knocked out defending champion and world number one Iga Swiatek in round four.

But she was unable to take advantage of her own handiwork as Gauff raced away with the first set in only 20 minutes.

Ostapenko made more of a contest of it in the second set, finally managing to hold serve at the fifth attempt.

But Gauff completed the job in an hour and eight minutes to reach the last four of her home grand slam for the first time.

“It feels great, I’m so happy,” she said. “Last year I lost in the quarter-finals and I wanted to do better. There’s a long way to go but I’m happy and ready to go back to work.

“Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable the whole match, even on match point. I know the game she plays. It’s really tough against her – you can’t really be aggressive. She’s a top player and she’s had a great tournament.

“There’s a saying in basketball that ‘defence wins games’. It doesn’t always work in tennis but today that was the case.”

Gauff will face the winner of Tuesday night’s match between Sorana Cirstea and Karolina Muchova in the last four.

German Alexander Zverev had a spectator thrown out of his US Open match against Jannik Sinner for shouting “the most famous Hitler phrase”.

A man could clearly be heard yelling “Deutschland uber alles” inside Arthur Ashe Stadium as Zverev prepared to serve.

Zverev, the 12th seed, approached English umpire James Keothovang and said: “He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in the world. It’s unacceptable. This is unbelievable.”

Keothovang turned to the crowd and asked: “Who was the smart guy who said that? Who said that? Put your hand up. We’re going to get him out.”

He then announced to the crowd: “Please be fair and respect the players.”

The man suspected of yelling the slur was ejected by security at the end of the game.

Zverev went on to win the match in five sets and afterwards, the 26-year-old told reporters: “He started singing the anthem of Hitler that was back in the day. It was ‘Deutschland uber alles’ and it was a bit too much.”

Jack Draper has been added to Britain’s Davis Cup team for next week’s matches in Manchester following his run to the fourth round of the US Open.

The 21-year-old again showed his huge potential by outperforming the rest of Britain’s singles players in New York, pushing eighth seed Andrey Rublev to four sets before bowing out on Monday.

Draper has struggled with injuries throughout the season and was a doubt for the US Open because of a shoulder problem so it was encouraging that his body held up through four best-of-five-set matches.

He joins Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Andy Murray and Neal Skupski in the side for matches against Australia, Switzerland and France beginning next Wednesday at the AO Arena.

It is the second time Leon Smith has called up Draper, who stayed on the bench during February’s victory over Colombia.

His inclusion presents captain Smith with a tricky selection decision given Norrie, Evans and Murray are significantly more experienced but none of the trio have had a great season, with British number one Norrie in particular in something of a rut.

Calling up Draper also indicates that Smith will rely on Wimbledon champion Skupski and Evans as his doubles partnership having overlooked Joe Salisbury, who is in the quarter-finals in New York with American partner Rajeev Ram.

Britain need to finish in the top two of the four-team group to make it through to the final stages of the competition in Malaga in November.

Iga Swiatek’s reign as US Open champion, and world number one, was ended by her nemesis Jelena Ostapenko.

The 22-year-old Pole had not dropped a set on her way to the fourth round, but she had never beaten Ostapenko in three previous career meetings.

Swiatek took the first set with relative ease but then Ostapenko’s sledgehammer of a forehand started finding its mark to level the match.

A one-sided final set saw former French Open champion Ostapenko triumph 3-6 6-3 6-1.

Swiatek’s defeat means that Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will take over as world number one after the tournament.

Ostapenko will face Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals after the teenager ended the grand slam comeback of mother-of-two Caroline Wozniacki.

The 19-year-old came from a break down in the first and third sets to win both and complete a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory.

Wozniacki’s return has been one of the stories of New York this year, having come out of retirement after more than three years and two children later.

The 33-year-old former world number one has looked as though she has never been away, but a fired-up Gauff proved just too strong in the deciding set.

Wozniacki got off to a dream start with a break in the first game and a 2-0 lead.

But Gauff quickly got back on the board, levelling at 3-3 before going on to clinch the first set without dropping another game.

Wozniacki cranked up the pressure in the second and Gauff started feeling it as her suspect forehand began to misfire and she was broken for 5-3 as the Dane levelled the match.

Gauff looked uncomfortable as she dropped serve again at the start of the decider, but after pointedly ignoring the advice of coach Brad Gilbert, the wound-up American began firing backhand winners as if they were going out of fashion.

She reeled off the next six games to clinch the victory and let out a loud scream of triumph after converting match point.

“Definitely getting it to 2-1 (in the third set) was the turning point,” said Gauff.

“I got broke and I showed I was still in the match. I started to go for my shots.

“Caroline, it’s like she’s never left, the level she played was amazing. It’s weird because I grew up watching Caroline and when she won the Australian Open, so to be on court with her today was an honour.

“She definitely gets to a lot of balls. I felt a bit like I was playing myself. I knew I had to play aggressive and go for my shots. In some moments I miss but I was happy I could get back and refocus.”

It will be the fifth grand slam quarter-final of Gauff’s still-fledgling career and her second at Flushing Meadows.

“I’ve been in this position before,” she added. “And I think I have confidence in myself that I can go even further.”

Novak Djokovic strolled into the last eight of the US Open with a three-set win over Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo.

Djokovic is now one behind Roger Federer’s record of 58 grand slam quarter-finals after a 6-2 7-5 6-4 victory.

The Serbian second seed got himself out of a minor pickle at 2-0 down in the second set, breaking back and dropping just four points in his next six service games.

A break to love in the third finished 6ft 5in Gojo off with Djokovic going through in two hours and 25 minutes.

Djokovic, bidding for a 24th grand slam title, said: “I knew Borna has a big game. I saw that he played well in the qualifying round.

“I saw that he’s a big-shot player, his serve and forehand are big weapons, he moves pretty well for a big guy, so the key points for me were to neutralise his serve.”

Djokovic has had a very agreeable draw in New York but he faces American ninth seed Taylor Fritz on Tuesday.

He added: “You know, obviously the matches are only going to get tougher from now onwards, and I’m ready.”

Big-serving Ben Shelton blew away fellow American Tommy Paul to lead the home charge into the quarter-finals.

The 20-year-old from Atlanta fired down two 149mph serves in one game on his way to a 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory.

“I think it was straight adrenaline,” he said. “In any other atmosphere I don’t think I could get it done. I think my arm would fall off, but it’s feeling good right now.”

The record fastest serve at the US Open is still held by Andy Roddick, who hit a 152mph thunderbolt on his way to the title in 2003 – the last time an American man won their home slam.

It was sweet revenge for Shelton, who was knocked out by Paul at the same stage of the Australian Open in January.

He added: “I really learned how to be mentally tough. When I was playing in Australia after a long week, I was looking at my box saying ‘my legs are dead, I’m tired, I can’t go anymore’.

“I realised how important it is to believe in myself, believe that I can go all the way, the full distance emotionally and physically and now I have that belief here.”

Shelton will play 10th seed Frances Tiafoe, guaranteeing at least one American man in the semi-finals.

Tiafoe beat Australian wild card Rinky Hijikata in straight sets, 6-4 6-1 6-4.

“It’s a shame that two of us have to play in the quarter-finals. Maybe we could have three in the semis,” added Shelton.

Fritz beat Dominic Stricker of Switzerland in three sets to make the last eight at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

Teenager Coco Gauff ended the grand-slam comeback of mother-of-two Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The 19-year-old came from a break down in the first and third sets to win both and complete a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory.

Wozniacki’s return has been one of the stories of New York this year, having come out of retirement after more than three years and two children later.

The 33-year-old former world number one has looked as though she has never been away, but a fired-up Gauff proved just too strong in the deciding set.

Wozniacki got off to a dream start with a break in the first game and a 2-0 lead.

But Gauff quickly got back on the board, levelling at 3-3 before going on to clinch the first set without dropping another game.

Wozniacki cranked up the pressure in the second and Gauff started feeling it as her suspect forehand began to misfire and she was broken for 5-3 as the Dane levelled the match.

Gauff looked uncomfortable as she dropped serve again at the start of the decider, but after pointedly ignoring the advice of coach Brad Gilbert, the wound-up American began firing backhand winners as if they were going out of fashion.

She reeled off the next six games to clinch the victory and let out a loud scream of triumph after converting match point.

“Definitely getting it to 2-1 (in the third set) was the turning point,” said Gauff.

“I got broke and I showed I was still in the match. I started to go for my shots.

“Caroline, it’s like she’s never left, the level she played was amazing. It’s weird because I grew up watching Caroline and when she won the Australian Open, so to be on court with her today was an honour.

“She definitely gets to a lot of balls. I felt a bit like I was playing myself. I knew I had to play aggressive and go for my shots. In some moments I miss but I was happy I could get back and refocus.”

It will be the fifth grand slam quarter-final of Gauff’s still-fledgling career and her second at Flushing Meadows.

“I’ve been in this position before,” she added. “And I think I have confidence in myself that I can go even further.”

Big-serving Ben Shelton blew away fellow American Tommy Paul to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The 20-year-old from Atlanta fired down two 149mph serves in one game on his way to a 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory at Flushing Meadows.

“I think it was straight adrenaline,” he said. “In any other atmosphere I don’t think I could get it done. I think my arm would fall off, but it’s feeling good right now.”

The record fastest serve at the US Open is still held by Andy Roddick, who hit a 152mph thunderbolt on his way to the title in 2003 – the last time an American man won their home slam.

It was sweet revenge for Shelton, who was knocked out by Paul at the same stage of the Australian Open in January.

He added: “I really learned how to be mentally tough. When I was playing in Australia after a long week, I was looking at my box saying ‘my legs are dead, I’m tired, I can’t go anymore’.

“I realised how important it is to believe in myself, believe that I can go all the way, the full distance emotionally and physically and now I have that belief here.”

Jack Draper arrived at the US Open simply hoping to stay fit, yet now he is chasing a place in the quarter-finals.

The British number four, 21, has endured an injury-hit year and slipped from a career-high ranking of 38 to outside the top 100.

A shoulder injury saw him miss Wimbledon and threatened his participation at Flushing Meadows.

Yet despite serving within himself in a bid to manage the problem, Draper is the only British player reach the last 16 after winning a tight four-set battle with American Michael Mmoh 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-3 on Saturday.

And having reached the second week of a grand slam for the first time, Draper is now looking to go even further.

“I mean, when I am playing, I’m not here just to be here and be happy to play. I’m a competitor when I get into the matches. I want to win everything,” he said.

“Definitely at the start of the week, there was real concern about my body and with the year I’ve had, whether I’d be able to play one match.

“Obviously it’s the best-of-five sets, so it’s completely different to what a three-set match even holds.

“You know, we just wanted to stay fit this trip. That was kind of the goal, you know, to get consistent competition in, because that’s just something I haven’t had.

“To come here this week and to play the way I have and to compete the way I have and for my body to hold up has been, it’s been pretty special for me, really.”

Draper faces Andrey Rublev, the combustible Russian eighth seed, for a place in the last eight.

“He’s been top 10 for many years, having great results, consistently doing well in the slams and won his first 1000 event this year,” added Draper.

“Anyone who you play in the fourth round, I suppose they’ve won three matches and they’re playing good tennis and feeling good out here, so it will be really difficult either way.”

Jack Draper arrived at the US Open simply hoping to stay fit, yet now he is chasing a place in the quarter-finals.

The British number four, 21, has endured an injury-hit year and slipped from a career-high ranking of 38 to outside the top 100.

A shoulder injury saw him miss Wimbledon and threatened his participation at Flushing Meadows.

Yet despite serving within himself in a bid to manage the problem, Draper is the only British player reach the last 16 after winning a tight four-set battle with American Michael Mmoh 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-3 on Saturday.

And having reached the second week of a grand slam for the first time, Draper is now looking to go even further.

“I mean, when I am playing, I’m not here just to be here and be happy to play. I’m a competitor when I get into the matches. I want to win everything,” he said.

“Definitely at the start of the week, there was real concern about my body and with the year I’ve had, whether I’d be able to play one match.

“Obviously it’s the best-of-five sets, so it’s completely different to what a three-set match even holds.

“You know, we just wanted to stay fit this trip. That was kind of the goal, you know, to get consistent competition in, because that’s just something I haven’t had.

“To come here this week and to play the way I have and to compete the way I have and for my body to hold up has been, it’s been pretty special for me, really.”

Draper faces Andrey Rublev, the combustible Russian eighth seed, for a place in the last eight.

“He’s been top 10 for many years, having great results, consistently doing well in the slams and won his first 1000 event this year,” added Draper.

“Anyone who you play in the fourth round, I suppose they’ve won three matches and they’re playing good tennis and feeling good out here, so it will be really difficult either way.”

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