Alexander Zverev outlasts Jannik Sinner in longest match of 2023 U.S. Open, advances to quarterfinal

Alexander Zverev downed Jannik Sinner in a grueling marathon match that lasted four hours and 41 minutes during the U.S. Open men’s singles round of 16 on Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • No. 12 Zverev took the first set, 6-4, but No. 6 Skinner fought back to win the second, 6-3. It was a back-and-forth battle from there that ended with Zverev going 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to clinch victory.
  • It was the longest match of the 2023 U.S. Open.
  • Zverev will face World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The two have faced off five times previously, with Zverev holding a 3-2 advantage. Alcaraz won the most recent meeting in Madrid in May.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What this means for Zverev

With all the talk of Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and the three Americans still in the men’s draw, it might’ve been easy to forget that Zverev was a finalist and semifinalist the last two times he played the U.S. Open. Well, he offered a reminder Monday that he is a contender on this court, outlasting Sinner in an almost five-hour-long physical ordeal that he called “one of the best moments of my career.”

He’ll have a tall order in the quarterfinals against Alcaraz, the top seed and defending champion who has mostly breezed through the tournament so far, but Zverev did win their two meetings on hard courts, both in 2021. Zverev — who missed last year’s U.S. Open due to an ankle injury that cost him the second half of the year — will have to hope he can recover from the grueling affair with Sinner that ended early Tuesday morning.

“I’ll be ready,” he said. — Pierce

More U.S. Open heartbreak for Sinner

For Sinner, it’s the second straight year with a gut-wrenching five-set defeat at the U.S. Open. Last year, it was against Alcaraz in the quarterfinals. Sinner had a match point in the fourth set in that one before ultimately losing and watching Alcaraz march on to the title and now has fallen one step short of a rematch this year.

Sinner won last month’s National Bank Open in Toronto, his first career Masters 1000 title, raising hopes that this could be his year for a breakout in New York. Still just 22, we’ll be hearing from him at a Slam again soon. — Pierce

Further reading

(Photo: Corey Sipkin/ / Getty)

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