Carlos Alcaraz beats Daniil Medvedev to reach semis at ATP Finals – as it happened | ATP Finals
OK, report to follow. We’ll be back over the weekend for the conclusion of the ATP finals.
Carlos Alcaraz speaks: “It’s one of the most difficult challlenges I can face, facing Novak. Novak’s Novak. He has won this six times. He is unbelievable, I am going to play my best tenns and enjoy.”
That straight sets win means Alcaraz wins his group, Medvedev is second.
It’s Sinner v Medvedev, Alcaraz v Djokovic, the top four in the world rankings who will face each other on Super Saturday.
Alcaraz* 6-4 6-4 Medvedev
Two huge serves, the second a slider and then a reflex volley at the net land him three match points. And the first is taken, as Medvedev can’t keep the ball in. A huge roar and at the first time of asking Alcaraz has reached the last four.
Alcaraz* 6-4 5-4 Medvedev
We begin with a long rally that is lost when Medvedev slices to the back of the court but it’s no Salt Bae precision, or covered in gold. 15-30, then 15-40 when the Russian goes wild and wayward. Two break points, the first saved. Then comes a double fault, one challenged in vain. Alcaraz will serve for the match.
Alcaraz* 6-4 4-4 Medvedev
Medvedev is making Alcaraz work now, reading his serves far better but then a skidding, angled drop from the Spaniard takes it to 30-30. There’s a punch of the air as he clatters home from the net. And then comes the hold.
Alcaraz 6-4 3-4 *Medvedev
Alcaraz has really struggled with Medvedev’s serve, which new balls give a fresh impetus to.
Alcaraz* 6-4 3-3 Medvedev
These two are hitting such big serves the other has no chance. A tie-breaker surely beckons. This one doesn’t quite go to 40-15, and suddenly it’s 40-30 off a huge serve, only for an overhead to level the set.
Alcaraz 6-4 2-3 *Medvedev
More big serving, this time from Medvedev, and another hold to love.
Alcaraz* 6-4 2-2 Medvedev
Big-serving Alcaraz holds to love, and does so with a kick serve.
Alcaraz 6-4 1-2 *Medvedev
Two break points present themselves but the first is wasted, and so is the second both by low shots. Then, at deuce, Alcaraz goes long but then chases down a Medvedev backhand to force an error. These feel like crucial moments. And the Russian holds well. A welcome hold.
Alcaraz* 6-4 1-1 Medvedev
Medvedev again gets a foothold on his opponent’s serve but then two darts to the net land him game point. Then comes a slam dunk on second serve to claim the win.
Alcaraz 6-4 0-1 *Medvedev
Medvedev is serving as well as he did in his final service game of the first set but then makes a mess of a scooping forehand. He’s then sent sprawling by some Alcaraz backhand power. Medvedev holds.
Alcaraz* 6-4 Medvedev
Alcaraz goes to the net to volley home at the start. Big serve and a Medvedev slip takes him to 30-0. But he overdoes a ground shot for 30-15. Now two set points, and then, from the back of the court, he clubs home a beauty. That’s the magic of Alcaraz. Both players are playing well but the youngster is inspired.
Alcaraz 5-4 *Medvedev
Blistering response from Medvedev, serving to love. Alcaraz must serve this out.
Alcaraz* 5-3 Medvedev
So, can he hold serve? Medvedev gets to 0-30 but there’s another drop-shot battle, and the Spaniard wins out. 15-30. Then a massive serve for 30-30. And another. And another. It’s his set to lose.
Alcaraz 4-3 Medvedev*
Alcaraz’s eye is in, all of a sudden. One whipped winner is a beauty, unstoppable as he races to three set points. Then, on second serve at 0-40, he blams a winner down the line.
Alcaraz* 3-3 Medvedev
Alcaraz’s serve is by far more under pressure but after Medvedev gets to 0-30, he swats away the Russian, who is targeting his right-hand side.
Alcaraz 2-3 Medvedev*
More quickfire tennis and 40-30 arrives at speed. An unforced error from Alcaraz means he hands the game over, going far too long. Not nearly the same control as in New York and London.
*Alcaraz 2-2 Medvedev
Medvedev goes to 0-30 with some sharp returning before Alcaraz recovers some of his zip, only to give up two breaks. The court is looking far more suited to Medvedev, though Alcaraz saves the first. A huge serve saves the second. There’s a quite brilliant rally at the first deuce, Medvedev’s drop shots bouncing so low, but Alcaraz sweeps home. He serves out.
Alcaraz 1-2 Medvedev*
Bit more bite on the Alcaraz return, but again Medvedev gets a relatively easy hold.
*Alcaraz 1-1 Medvedev
The Alcaraz serve is in good order too, as his his trademark yelp. Medvedev plays and wins with the first drop of the day, but it’s as good as it gets for the Russian.
Alcaraz 0-1 Medvedev*
Medvedev sets off at one hell of a rate, his first service in good order, and he collects the first game with ease.
A knockup is in progress to the sound of Europop and balls being smashed to high heaven as the players practice their serves.
The players take to the court after they are announced in rather staccato fashion by the man on the mic. There’s been an acrobatics show, too. Did you get that at the O2?
Some rather elaborate warmups taking place backstage in Turin, both players using balls to loosen the arm. Medvedev with a basketball, Alcaraz with what looks like a squash ball.
The sums are that if Alcaraz wins he goes through. Medvedev wins and that means Zverev is through if he beats Rublev. Alcaraz goes through if Rublev wins. The word is that Medvedev doesn’t much like Zverev so will he let this one go? Winning means he will he face Sinner in the semis, who happens not to be Djokovic.
A familiar face awaits in the semis.
Pre-match reading on the former Nasty Nick.
If Daniil Medvedev gets himself into a New York State of Mind, then Carlos Alcaraz might be in big trouble. The Russian won a titanic semi-final at the US Open over the Spaniard and now they meet on his favourite surface. Medvedev has won his first two matches so far and is already in the semis. Alcaraz, having lost to Zverev, fought back to beat Rublev in his next round-robin match for a first ATP finals win. If he wins this, he joins his opponent in the weekend’s semi-finals.
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