The growing #NextGenATP rivalry between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner arrives in New York on Wednesday when two of the sport’s greatest young talents meet for a third tour-level meeting of the season in the US Open quarterfinals.
The final American in the draw, Frances Tiafoe, will try to bolster his stunning fourth round win over Rafael Nadal when he faces Andrey Rublev as all four quarter-finalists in the bottom half of the draw make the final four of the first a Grand Slam.
ATPTour.com previews the quarterfinal action on Day 10 at Flushing Meadows.
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 Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs.  Jannik Sinner (IT)
In a year of milestones for Alcaraz, the Spaniard closes out his two greatest achievements to date: lifting his first Grand Slam trophy and becoming the youngest world No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP rankings. To get there, however, he must do something he failed to do on two previous attempts in 2022: defeat Jannik Sinner.
The former Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champions met in a thrilling fourth round at Wimbledon in July, breaking the Grand Slam curtain on a rivalry that will light up the majors for years to come. It was Sinner who triumphed in four sets on grass in London and the Italian backed it up with an impressive three-set victory on clay in the championship game at Umag in July to take his sixth touring title.
“I’ve played against him a few times. He’s a great player, a very, very difficult one,” said Alcaraz, who now follows Sinner 1-2 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series. lost twice, so I’ll have to be ready for this fight against Jannik.”
Alcaraz stopped Marin Cilic on Monday in the fourth round in five sets to equal his quarterfinal from a year ago in New York. If he can get past Sinner and then claim his first major crown, he is guaranteed to rise to the world’s No. 1 on Monday. Reaching the final could also be enough for the 19-year-old to make history, as long as Casper Ruud does not also make it to the championship match. Read more about the battle for No. 1.
Carlos Alcaraz HOW pic.twitter.com/QU0kk5gACN
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2022
Sinner checked his own box with his five-set win against Ilya Ivashka on Monday. By progressing to the last eight in New York for the first time, the Italian became the youngest player since Novak Djokovic (20, in 2007-08) to complete a series of quarter-finals at all four Grand Slams.
Despite those appearances in the last eight, Sinner has yet to reach a major semi-final. Doing that in New York could be particularly important for the 21-year-old, who will need a deep run to improve his chances of qualifying for the season-closing Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. Sinner is currently in 14th place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but could rise to fifth if he can win the title in New York.
 Andrey Rublev vs.  Frances Tiafu
Tiafoe’s stunning four-set triumph against Nadal in the fourth round on Monday highlighted the American’s show-stopping abilities on the field. Still, the 22nd seed believes some minor adjustments off the field have been crucial to his strong performance these two weeks as he prepares for his first US Open quarterfinal against Andrey Rublev.
“I’m starting to know how to really get to Slams and be ready,” said Tiafoe, who opened this year in New York with three straight-set wins. “I think it helps to make it to the second week and not lose a set. Stuff like that. Rest. I don’t have [gone] to go out for dinner sometime. Doing Uber Eats and stuff, just chilling.
“Yeah, I’m just approaching this very differently.”
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Tiafoe’s collision with Rublev represents a meeting of two big hitters who are particularly powerful from the forehand wing. In addition to similarities in their playstyles, the 24-year-olds also share the spoils in their ATP Head2Head series – Tiafoe defeated Rublev in a five-set epic in the third round in New York a year ago, but ranked No. 1 in the world. 11 avenged that loss with a straight sets win against the American at Indian Wells in March.
“[He is] a tough player,” said Tiafoe’s Rublev, the youngest American to reach the last eight in New York since Andy Roddick in 2006. ‘We played a few times. I lost to him here at the US Open last year.
“He will definitely try to use the energy, the audience, to get more pumped, to play tennis better. I just have to, with him, wait for my moment and use it.”
It will be a second major quarterfinal for Tiafoe, while Rublev is 0-5 at this stage of Grand Slams, with three of those defeats in New York. Having survived five sets of battles against Laslo Djere and Denis Shapovalov during those two weeks in New York, the 11-time touring champion is hoping his time has come to break that duck at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.