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Carlos Alcaraz battled past Marin Cilic in five sets in a near 2.30am finish local time to ensure there will be a new male Grand Slam champion come Sunday at the US Open.

Cilic was the last major winner standing in the men's draw after Rafael Nadal’s exit to Frances Tiafoe, but Alcaraz downed the 2014 US Open champion 6-4 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-4 in 3h53 to advance.

Alcaraz is the highest seed remaining in the draw, and the Spaniard takes on No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner for a place in the semi-finals.

One of Andrey Rublev or Tiafoe will await in the last four, while the other half of the draw sees Nick Kyrgios take on Karen Khachanov in the last eight, and Matteo Berrettini face Casper Ruud.

Asked how he found the drive to come through in five sets, Alcaraz replied on-court afterwards: “Honestly? I don’t know yet, but I believed in myself all the time. Marin was playing unbelievable, 

but the support was crazy. Without you guys it wouldn’t be possible.” And on facing Sinner, who Alcaraz lost to at Wimbledon and then the Croatia Open earlier this year, he added:

“I played a couple of times against him. A great player, I lost twice [to him] in the last two months so I will have to be ready for this battle. It’s going to be really tough.”

That made a late finish inevitable under the roof, and the pair trading breaks early on was an indication of the myriad momentum swings this match would have.

From 2-0 down, two straight breaks helped Alcaraz take command of the first set, and he was able to close it out 6-4 after 51 minutes.

He broke immediately to 15 to take charge of the second set, but Cilic was clinical in breaking twice with just one opportunity needed in each game to lead 3-1.

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