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Carlos Alcaraz’s behind-the-back return was the highlight of his epic U.S. Open win

Carlos Alcaraz knocked off Jannick Sinner in the U.S. Open in a 5+ hour thriller that is being hailed as the match of the year.

A modern day tennis classic was played into the early morning hours at the 2022 U.S. Open men’s quarterfinals. No. 3 seed Carlos Alcaraz and No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner are two of the best young players in the world, and they gave the New York City crowd a match for the ages as Wednesday night turned into Thursday morning.

Alcaraz defeated Sinner 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 to put the 19-year-old Spaniard in the semifinal of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. The match ended at 2:50 a.m. ET, which is the latest a U.S. match has ever gone. At 5 hours, 15 minutes, it’s the second longest match in U.S. Open history.

The match wasn’t just historic because of its run time — it also featured an incredibly high level of play from two rising stars. At one point in the second set, Alcaraz won one of the best points you will ever see. He went behind his back to return Sinner’s volley, then darted across the court to smash a backhand winner. You have to see this for yourself:

That reminds me of Ja Morant’s poster dunk in the NBA Playoffs against the Minnesota Timberwolves: young athletic brilliance put on full display in a huge moment.

Alcaraz is now the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in 2005, as well as the youngest U.S. Open semifinalist since Pete Sampras in 1990.

Even Alcaraz couldn’t believe he pulled out the victory:

Sinner, a 21-year-old Italian, had defeated Alcaraz in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon earlier this year. Sinner also defeated Alcaraz at the Umag final earlier this summer. Alcaraz got his revenge on a huge stage with the whole world gawking at what transpired.

Alcaraz vs. Sinner: Twitter reacts to epic U.S. Open match

Alcaraz vs. Sinner highlights at 2022 U.S. Open

Watch highlights of the match here:

Alcaraz now faces American Frances Tiafoe in the semifinal on Friday. Tiafoe defeated the No. 2 seed Nadal earlier in the tournament.