The future is now at this year’s US Open with many rising stars—most notably Emma Raducanu, Jenson Brooksby, Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez—making a name for themselves on tennis’ biggest stage. Diehard fans knew of their incredible talent and potential long ago, but now, the rest of the tennis-consuming population has no choice but to take notice.

On Tuesday, in the youngest major quarterfinal since Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2006 French Open, Alcaraz will face fellow rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime in what is sure to be one of the hardest hitting matches you will ever see. Both players own flawless technique from the ground and hit their forehands about as hard as humanly possible. According to the oddsmakers, the Canadian is listed as a -210 favorite and projected to win by four total games.

What Alcaraz has done on these quick hardcourts is astounding. Clay is the Spaniard’s preferred surface, but that didn’t stop him from beating the red-hot, huge, flat and low hitting Peter Gojowycz by 11 games on Sunday. Though Alcaraz was down two sets to one, the outcome was never in doubt, as his fitness level was far superior to the German’s.

The most glaring weakness in Alcaraz’s game is his first serve. If he doesn’t hit a high percentage, he will not be able to break Auger-Aliassime’s massive serve enough times to compensate for how many times his own serve will inevitably get broken.

But here’s the deal. Alcaraz is a freak of nature. He covers nearly half the court with his sliding lunge and has shown an incredible ability to squash-shot the ball low over the net. He will make Auger-Aliassime play plenty of extra balls, which could cause problems for the error prone Canadian.


Gojowycz had checked out by this point, but that doesn’t make this slice forehand by Alcaraz any less impressive. 

I am considering an outright bet on Alcaraz at +180, but will absolutely hammer his +4 game spread, as a straight set victory for the Canadian would be surprising.

The Pick: Alcaraz +4 games