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USA's Frances Tiafoe, Spain's Alcaraz reach first U.S. Open semifinals

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Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates after winning a point in the first set against Jannik Sinner of Italy in the quarterfinals of the 2022 U.S. Open on Wednesday in Flushing, N.Y. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/2974b1158ed90ae5e783765b60572af2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates after winning a point in the first set against Jannik Sinner of Italy in the quarterfinals of the 2022 U.S. Open on Wednesday in Flushing, N.Y. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Men's No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz needed more than five hours to edge his quarterfinal foe, while American Frances Tiafoe won in straight sets to reach his first major semifinal on Day 10 of the 2022 U.S. Open.

Women's No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland and No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus also won their quarterfinal matches Wednesday in Flushing, N.Y. They will face off in a singles semifinal Thursday night at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

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Swiatek beat No. 8 Jessica Pegula, the lone American left in the women's draw, 6-3, 7-6(4) on Wednesday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. She converted 7 of 11 break points and fired 22 winners in the one-hour, 53-minute match.

"I'm very proud because I feel like I'm playing better and better every match," Swiatek said.

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"Jessica was a tough opponent. ... I'm proud of myself that I could be the one to win the last point."

Pegula converted 6 of 10 break points and logged 14 winners. The 28-year-old American has lost in each of her four career Grand Slam singles quarterfinal appearances, including three times this year.

"It sucks," Pegula said. "I wish I could have done it here at my home Grand Slam, but I guess not.

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"I wish I didn't have to play Iga or [former top-ranked Australian] Ash Barty in every quarterfinal, two people that don't lose that often. It just sucks. I'm a little deflated."

Sabalenka beat No. 22 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 7-6(4) to advance to the semifinals.

But Alcaraz's 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-3 triumph over No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy proved to be the best match of Day 10.

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Sinner totaled eight aces, 61 winners and converted 7 of 16 break points, but Alcaraz thrilled the crowd with stunning returns -- including one behind his back -- as he rallied to claim his semifinals spot.

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The Spaniard logged five aces, 58 winners and converted 11 of 26 break points. He also totaled 38 errors, compared to Sinner's 63.

"I still don't know how I did it," said Alcaraz, who advanced to his first major semifinal.

"The level that I played, the level of the match, was a high quality of tennis. Jannik Sinner is a great player. His level is just amazing."

Alcaraz will meet Tiafoe in the semifinals. The No. 22 American beat No. 9 Andrey Rublev of Russia 7-6(3), 7-6(0), 6-4 in the other men's quarterfinal Wednesday in Flushing.

Tiafoe totaled 18 aces, 46 winners and converted 1 of 4 break points. Rublev logged 14 aces, 31 winners and failed to convert four break point opportunities.

"I'm just trying to focus and stay in the moment," Tiafoe said. "We will see where it goes."

The winner of the Alcaraz-Tiafoe match will meet No. 5 Casper Ruud of Norway or No. 27 Karen Khachanov of Russia in the men's singles final. Ruud and Khachanov will meet Friday in a men's semifinal.

No. 17 Caroline Garcia of France will battle No. 5 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the first of two women's semifinals Thursday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. That match will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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Swiatek will face Sabalenka in the next match on the same network. The women's singles final will air at 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

The men's semifinals will air at 3 p.m. Friday on ESPN. The men's finals will air at 4 p.m. Sunday on the same network.

Highlights from the 2022 U.S. Open

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain (L) and Casper Ruud of Norway stand with their trophies after the Men's Finals of the 2022 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billy Jean King National Tennis Center in Forest Hills, N.Y. on September 11, 2022. Alcaraz won the match 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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