Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz was the unfortunate victim of a failed trick shot at the US Open on Thursday night in front of 20,000 fans.
The world no. 1 was playing in the quarterfinals against world no. 12 Alexander Zverev when he was left red-faced after attempting a skill that was seen by Novak Djokovic just a few days before.
Alcaraz was in fine form during the game at Flushing Meadows which saw him dominate throughout. The 20-year-old did not have to be at his best but was a comfortable 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 winner over the German.
Taking just two-and-a-half hours the current Wimbledon champion cwas confident enough to turn his hand to entertaining the crowd as he attempted to wow fans mid-way through the tie.
With the ball sailing high into the air, Alcaraz attempted to catch it in his pocket on it's way down. Unfortunately, the Spaniard mis-timed his efforts only to see the ball hit his hip and bounce over the net.
Rubbing more salt into the wound some 23,000 spectators were in attendance at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to witness the blunder. Unsurprisingly Alcaraz seemed unfazed by his attempt and simply shrugged it off to continue with play.
It was not the only trick from the two-time Grand Slam champion, who beat Djokovic at Wimbledon earlier this year to add to the US Open title he won in New York last year. While waiting for Zverev to return from a medical timeout he could be seen spinning and juggling his racquet to the sound of applause.
Earlier in the tournament world No. 2 and three-time champion Djokovic amazed spectators by casually pulling off the ball in the pocket trick in the same arena in the opening set of his Round of 16 game against Croatia's Borna Gojo.
The trick has also been executed by Casper Ruud who managed the feat at the 2022 Miami Open. His opponent on the day was also Zverev, who seemed considerably more impressed than he was with Alcaraz's attempt.
Alcaraz has impressed in his defence of the title having only dropped one set in the whole tournament, against Britain's Dan Evans in the third round.
The Spaniard comes into the Flushing Meadows tournament full of confidence having already claimed a Wimbledon title this year - one an an ATP Tour-leading six titles he has captured in 2023.
“I grew up a lot since last year,” Alcaraz said after the win. “Last year I was facing my first semi-final of a Grand Slam. Now I’m facing my fourth one. I feel like I’m a totally different player.
"Doesn’t matter that last year I got my first grand slam, I won my first semi-final, final of grand slam. I feel like I’m more mature. I deal better with the pressure with that kind of moments. I feel like I’m different, different person and different player.”
Alcaraz will face world No. 3 Daniil Medvedev in Friday's semi-finals. 20-year-old American Ben Shelton faces Djokovic on the other side of the draw.