Carlos Alcaraz reaches first grand slam semifinal after marathon, late-night finish against Jannik Sinner
The first Grand Slam semifinals in the Open era were a relatively unusual combination of both the tradition and the drama that would characterize them in years to come. Not only were they unprecedented in the history of the Open, but they were also the only Grand Slam tournament in which the semifinal matches were played on three different days of the tournament.
That was 1973 in the men’s singles.
It was the first time that the championship match in the Open’s Grand Slams was held on Tuesday evening, with a 7 p.m. start. But the first semifinal was played at noon on Sunday afternoon, with a 7 p.m. start. It was also the first time that only two players reached two days in the semifinals in the Open era (the other were in the early ’60s when three men reached two days).
Then, Sunday afternoon would only be the second time that semifinal day would be played at night.
The semifinal was played at 20 hours and 25 minutes, giving it the longest final on any day in the Open’s history. The second-longest was in 1927, when the finals were played at 23 hours and 45 minutes.
The first semifinal in 1970 was played at 10 hours and 15 minutes. It was played at 10 hours and five minutes in 1981.
The second semifinal in 1969 was played at 11 hours, 30 minutes.
The first and second semifinal in 1973 were both played at 13 hours and 15 minutes.
The first Grand Slam semifinals in 1974 were played at 12 hours, 15 minutes, with the second semifinal and fourth-round match also being played at 12:15 p.m., giving all three days in the semifinals three hours and 45 minutes.
The first double-elimination Grand Slam semifinal was played at 8:30 p.m. on July 5, 1965, in the doubles.
With no Thursday events at Wimbledon, the first two semifinals each ended with a 7 p.m. start. The third match in the men’s singles was played at