Carlos Alcaraz reaches first grand slam semifinal after marathon, late-night finish against Jannik Sinner / Photo by David J. Phillip
Carlos Alcaraz, who made the U.S. Davis Cup final with a 5-2, 6-4, 7-6 (5) 6-2 win against Jannik Sinner in the first round of Wimbledon, was scheduled to play his first match on Wednesday, but he was forced to postpone it when his coach, Alberto Vilar, had to undergo surgery to remove a tumor from his esophagus earlier in the week. It was the second such surgery for the 68-year-old Spanish coach, who is now home recovering at his home.
The loss of Alcaraz, who has been at the top of the tour, came as a crushing blow to the U.S. Davis Cup team, to which he was a key member. Sinner had lost only one set in four games when he beat Alcaraz in three hours and 45 minutes on Monday. Sinner’s victory over Alcaraz was his first of the year and his first career quarterfinal since 2010.
Sinner is ranked 19th in the world. Alcaraz is ranked No. 43.
“I am very sad for the U.S.D.C. team and especially for Carlos Alcaraz,” U.S. Davis Cup captain John McEnroe said.
But he was equally excited for the team to see the final round of the match.
“We have a tough, tough guy on our team,” McEnroe said, adding, “We have to face it, that’s about as tough as it gets.”
With one week to prepare, the Americans won a tiebreak to make it to the fourth round of the doubles. They will play in the quarterfinals Thursday night against France.
That victory enabled the Americans to reach the final three-of-a-kind in Wimbledon, something that seemed almost impossible for McEnroe and his team this year. The team lost in the opening doubles rubber with Russia, then was edged in the final rubber by the defending champ, Czech Republic.
Wednesday, the U.S. team had