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Alcaraz sets up semifinal against Djokovic at ATP Finals after beating Medvedev | Tennis News


Carlos Alcaraz leaned back, looked up and shouted in celebration.

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates after winning against Daniil Medvedev of Russia during their first round singles match at the ATP Finals tennis tournament in Turin on November 17 (AFP)

The Spaniard had just reached the semi-finals of the APT Finals in his tournament debut, setting up a match against top seed Novak Djokovic.

“Vamos, vamos,” Spanish for “Come on, come on,” Alcaraz shouted as he clenched his fists after beating Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.

“It’s one of the toughest challenges I’ll face, facing Novak in the ATP Finals, where he’s won,” Alcaraz said. “Novak is Novak. He is the best player in the world right now. He’s only missed six games this year, it’s unbelievable.”

Alcaraz and Djokovic played each other four times and won two each. Djokovic won their most recent final in Cincinnati in August, while Alcaraz defeated the Serbian in the Wimbledon final.

“I’m going to play my best tennis and enjoy it the same way I’ve done in the last few matches,” Alcaraz said. “I’m excited to face Novak.”

Alcaraz, 20, is the youngest ATP semifinalist since Rafael Nadal in 2006.

But Alcaraz, who missed last year’s tournament due to an abdominal injury, made a poor start to the season-ending event for the eight best players of the year. He lost his opening match to two-time champion Alexander Zverev before getting back on track in straight sets Andrey Rublev to win.

That meant he had to beat Medvedev, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, to advance. Russian was not easy.

Medvedev had two break points in the fourth game but Alcaraz came out on top of a 33-shot rally and then held another big serve before holding.

In the seventh game, Alcaraz broke Medvedev to love the lead. He then had three set points but needed just one to take the opener with a powerful cross-court backhand.

After wasting two break points in the third game of the second set, Alcaraz got the decisive break when Medvedev double-faulted to allow the Spaniard to serve for the match.

“This match was really tough … but I did almost perfect everything I did before this match so I’m very happy,” Alcaraz said.

With Alcaraz emerging, the top four players in the world have qualified for the semi-finals. Medvedev will face Jannik Sinner.

In the final group match later on Friday, Zverev will play Rublev. Neither player can progress.

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