Alexander Zverev outlasts Carlos Alcaraz in quarterfinals at Australian Open

Zverev went from brilliant to so-so to back to brilliant against Alcaraz.
Cameron Spencer/GettyImages

As well as Carlos Alcaraz had played in the previous two rounds at the Australian Open, he played almost as poorly in the quarterfinals against Alexander Zverev for the first two sets. To be sure, Zverev may very well have played the sets of his life after only having to go to a second serve just five times by early in the third set. But Alcaraz helped the German by hitting far too many unforced errors.

The issue when one player is playing so well and the other player is underperforming is that the player doing so well needs to drop their form while the other picks up their play. By the end of the third set, Zverev, who faced only two break points in the entire match, was not playing quite as well - perhaps tightening up due to the importance of the match - and not hitting his mark as well on his serve. Zverev was up a break in the third set and led 5-3, and things fell apart.

Alcaraz came back to win the third set in a tie-break. The Spaniard finally began to move around and hit the kind of ridiculous shots that only he can seemingly make. Zverev's play declined a bit, sure, but Alcaraz started playing his best and few players can match that. After coming back to win the third set, Alcaraz would seemingly breeze through the next two sets.

Alexander Zverev plays brilliantly enough to defeat Carlos Alcaraz at the Australian Open

But that did not happen and credit should go to Zverev. Instead of crumbling, Zverev kept his poise while both players traded holding serve for most of the fourth set. Tied at 4-all, though, Carlos Alcaraz began missing some easy shots again and Zverev got the break. Zverev was then able to serve the match out to win 6-1 6-3 6-7(2) 6-4.

Now the question many tennis fans might ask themselves is if they want to root for Alexander Zverev to keep winning to have a chance at winning his first Grand Slam. Zverev has off-court legal issues that many know about and have cast a shadow over his career of late. Legal issues or not, however, Daniil Medvedev awaits in the semifinals for Zverev, and Medvedev will not make life easy for the German.

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