Daniil Medvedev Beats Carlos Alcaraz to set up a matchup with Novak Djokovic in the US Open Final

Daniil Medvedev Beats Carlos Alcaraz
Daniil Medvedev of Russia goads the US Open crowd after defeating Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the quarterfinal: Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

Daniil Medvedev Beats Carlos Alcaraz: On Friday night, Daniil Medvedev entered Arthur Ashe Stadium knowing exactly what was required of him to even have a chance of defeating Carlos Alcaraz and that not many people gave him a chance to do so.

But one thing that has remained constant throughout Medvedev’s increasingly remarkable career is that he thrives on these difficulties. This trait has set him apart from his contemporaries and made him a champion.

The third seed, Medvedev, rose to the situation in a match of the highest caliber, ending Carlos Alcaraz’s reign in New York with an astonishing 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 triumph despite facing the formidable No. 1 and a very unfavorable match-up.

I said I needed to play 11 out of 10, Medvedev stated. I played in 12 of 10.

In his third US Open final in the past five years, Medvedev will renew his enthralling rivalry with Novak Djokovic rather than the top two facing off.

In addition to dominating Djokovic in straight sets at the US Open two years ago, Medvedev also prevented what would have been one of the greatest tennis accomplishments of the Open Era by stopping Djokovic’s grand slam bid at the very last moment.

Given how he struggled after his impressive 2021 performance, this performance served as a reminder of all that Medvedev is capable of, something that is frequently forgotten. A year after becoming No. 1, Medvedev fell out of the top 10 earlier this season, and he has had to work his way back up the rankings.

The 27-year-old had been destroyed in his two previous encounters with Alcaraz on the hard courts at Indian Wells and in the Wimbledon semifinals in July. But he has always been able to play his best tennis on the faster hard courts of the US Open, the venue of his greatest triumphs.

Daniil Medvedev Beats Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz in action against Daniil Medvedev during their US Open semi-final in New York. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

At the US Open, I tend to play aggressively and quickly, though I’m not exactly sure why. I do my job well. I think the court’s speed helps me. Since I can’t really strike the ball there, it was amazing that I made it to the final at Indian Wells, remarked Medvedev.

After a string of double faults in the early going, Medvedev emphasized the necessity of serving exceptionally well before the match. Alcaraz was still the superior player for the majority of the critical first set. He made just nine unforced errors while striking 16 winners, which is excellent, and served brilliantly. Alcaraz had performed well enough to win, but two crucial unforced errors late in the tiebreak cost him the match.

While doing so, Medvedev established the tone. He played outstanding defense the entire game, making it nearly impossible for Alcaraz to get the ball past him with all of his arsenal. In comparison to the previous matches, Medvedev’s forehand was also significantly faster, allowing him to push Alcaraz back.

Although I did lose a few points, Medvedev added to his defence, I did catch some balls that were really tough after the point. I thought, Okay, that’s fine. That implies that I can also make the following point. Maybe I could make a better shot or maybe he’s going to miss. I was very focused.

While Alcaraz had previously used drop shots and net rushes to effectively take advantage of Medvedev’s return position, Medvedev here returned remarkably well. Alcaraz attempted 42 serve and volleys during the course of the match, and he consistently found acute angles and dipping, low returns to complicate things for him.

Alcaraz laughed and continued, He always finds the passing shot from, you know, from his house when I play serve and volley. It’s in some ways amazing.

After winning the first set, Medvedev capitalized on the momentum and played freely while Alcaraz raged, quickly taking the lead in the match with two sets. Alcaraz called on the audience after taking a bathroom break to clear his head, which gave him renewed energy for the fourth performance. He constantly drew Medvedev toward the net with his forehand and dropshots, reestablishing his range, and unleashed magnificent passing shots. To force a fourth set, Alcaraz fought his way to a 4-1 advantage and maintained it.

Both players felt the strain at the start of the fourth set, which was a tale of two service games, as the outcome of the match hung in the balance. In his first service game, Medvedev fought valiantly to save three break chances, one of which came on a second serve traveling at 126 mph. Alcaraz then faced two break points in a taxing game that had seven deuces and a score of 2-3. A superb, dipping return passing shot by Medvedev allowed him to break Alcaraz’s serve and prevent him from trying another serve and volley.

As Medvedev frantically tried to serve out the victory, the tension reached its peak. He double-flubbed twice in a row after reaching match point to lose a breakpoint. Despite Alcaraz’s unwavering fortitude, Medvedev managed to climb out of one last hole, and he delivered one of the biggest victories of his career.

It was a great win, it’s great for the confidence, Medvedev added. I hope to have a long career ahead of me. Every time you perform it on a larger platform, you give yourself more confidence because you know you can succeed. You are confident in your abilities. You want to try it once more. You desire this sensation. The most crucial thing is to sort of use it but then set it aside and move on to the next one.

Alcaraz suffered a humiliating loss against an outstanding opponent at the end of a strong title defense. But after his extraordinary accomplishment, expectations are high, and it was clear that he was frustrated. I thought that right now I am a better player to find solutions when the match is not going in the right direction for [me], the player remarked. But I’m going to have a change of heart after this game. These matches are above my level of maturity. I must thus learn about it.

Learn More:

Carlos Alcaraz into US Open semi-finals

Ben Shelton in US Open Semifinals

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