Alexander Zverev rolled his eyes and summed up his confidence for the quarter-final duel with defending champion Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open in three short words. “Yes, it is,” the Olympic champion answered succinctly when asked whether anything was still possible after the exhausting five-sentence drama against Jannik Sinner.

Zverev wants to make his third consecutive semifinal entry at the Grand Slam tournament in New York late Wednesday evening (local time). But the task could hardly be more difficult: The 20-year-old Spaniard goes into the match as last year’s winner and tennis world number one and has had significantly less trouble than Zverev so far. The most important thing about the meeting of the round of eight at a glance:

The hardships

In the round of 16, Zverev completed the longest match of the entire tournament so far. In the four games so far, the Hamburg player has been on the pitch for a total of 14 hours and 15 minutes – almost six hours more than Alcaraz (8 hours and 36 minutes). So far, the Spaniard has only lost a set in the third round against the Brit Daniel Evans and also saved energy by the early surrender of Dominik Koepfer in the first round.

“I will do my best and fight until the last moment,” Zverev promised. “I will be ready.” Alcaraz had a tape bandage around his left thigh in his round of 16 victory against Italian Matteo Arnaldi and spoke of slight pain and a precautionary measure. Temperatures of around 28 degrees and very high humidity are also forecast for Wednesday evening.

The previous duels

Zverev and Alcaraz have met five times in their careers so far, and the German has won three duels. Zverev won the only previous encounter in a Grand Slam tournament in Paris in 2022. Last May, Alcaraz outclassed the Olympic champion, also on clay, at the Masters in Madrid 6-1, 6-2.

Zverev against the big ones

By defeating Sinner, Zverev improved his record against players from the top ten in the world rankings at Grand Slams to 2:13. But he is still waiting for success against the big players: Zverev has never won in nine duels with opponents from the top five in the ranking. Most recently, at the French Open this season, there was a smooth three-set defeat against number four seeded Casper Ruud from Norway.

The History

For Zverev it is the tenth quarter-final participation in a Grand Slam tournament, so he drew level with Michael Stich. Only Boris Becker (23) managed to do this more often in the professional era for men as a German tennis player. Zverev has celebrated five wins in the nine previous quarterfinals.

The World Ranking

After the quarter-final defeat of the American Frances Tiafoe, Zverev will return to the top ten in the world rankings for the first time since the end of October 2022 after the US Open. The former second had slipped down to 27th place after the break due to a serious ankle injury.