Carlos Alcaraz obliterated the record for the latest finish to a US Open match as he outlasted Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-7(0), 7-5, 6–3 to advance to the semi-finals on Thursday morning.

The showdown was only completed at 2:51 a.m. with the final set starting just two minutes before the latest recorded finish here of 2:26 a.m. Playing time was the second longest in Open history: five hours, 15 minutes.

Alcaraz tossed his shoes into the crowd as the Spanish teenager puzzled over how he pulled out victory which included saving a match point at 4-5 in the fourth set.

He remains alive in his duel with Norway’s Csper Ruud to take over the No. 1 ranking. by reaching the final.

“I don’t know how I did this,” Alcaraz said as he contemplates a semi-final with American Frances Tiafoe.

“It was a high quality of tennis, Sinner is a great player, his level is amazing.

“I thank the fans, who gave me unbelievable support. It was really difficult to close out the match. I tried to stay calm, but it is difficult in the moment.”

The winner said he needed mental toughness to get through.

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning a point during his epic win over Jannick Sinner in New York. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“You have to believe in yourself all the time.all the time. I believed in my game. It was difficult to close Jannik out”

He lost to upcoming opponent Tiafoe in their only meeting at Barcelona in spring, 2021.

“Everyone knows his level, he beat Rafa (Nadal) here. He has a lot of confidence, this is a special court for him.

“It will be a really, really tough match. I will enjoy this month and then think about the match.”

Alcaraz got away with the opening set in 51 minutes thanks to early errors from his opponent, with Sinner striking back to start the second with a break of serve thanks to a running forehand winner.

But the Italian from the northern German-speaking part of the country failed on his chance to square the sets, sending a return wide to drop serve for 5-all.

The teenaged Spaniard made it 6-5 but found himself in tiebreaker after an hour and three-quarters on court as Sinner rallied from 0-40 down in the 12th game, which included a behind-the-back shot from Alcaraz which stayed in play.

Sinner saved his fifth set point with an unreturnable serve and landed a passing winner on his own second set point to level at a set apiece with midnight approaching..

The Italian won the third set for the match lead, winning a clean tiebreaker to love

But he missed his match-winning chance trying to serve out victory in the fourth as the time approached 2 a.m.

Alcaraz held off the attack to send the contest into a deciding fifth set, where he saved the Sinner match point on the way to the win.