At a tournament without fans there was still too much noise for Alexander Zverev’s liking.
The German was on edge after losing the first set of his US Open quarter-final against Borna Coric before bouncing back to win the next two sets in tiebreaks as his Croatian opponent stumbled.
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Zverev was all business and he wasn’t going to let anything — or anyone — distract him as he searches for a maiden grand slam title.
Before serving during the third set, the world No. 7 confronted ESPN courtside commentator Brad Gilbert for talking too loud and told him to pipe down.
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“You’re talking too loud, man,” Zverev said. “I can hear every single word you’re saying.”
Gilbert had just finished talking about Zverev’s nine double faults before sheepishly apologising for crushing his vibe.
“Oh, sorry,” Gilbert said.
The interruption didn’t faze Zverev for long though. After claiming the third set tiebreak 7-1, he maintained the rage in the fourth to seal a 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 win and advance to the semi-finals.
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Zverev is into his second straight grand slam semi-final.Source:Getty Images
The 23-year-old has a reputation for choking in grand slams — a tag he went some way towards eradicating when he made the Australian Open semi-finals this year — and he won’t get a better chance to win a major after Novak Djokovic’s shock disqualification left the path to the trophy wide open.
World No. 1 Djokovic was the heavy favourite at Flushing Meadows before being defaulted from his fourth round clash against Pablo Carreno Busta for hitting a lineswoman in the throat with a ball.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer didn’t line up for the grand slam, meaning we will see a debut major winner for the first time since Marin Cilic in 2014.
Zverev will face the winner of Carreno Busta’s match against Canadian young gun Denis Shapovalov.
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