Daniil Medvedev stormed into the US Open final on Friday night with a dominant victory over world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz, 7-6 (7) 6-1 3-6 6-3.
Following his resounding victory, the Russian will face world number 2 Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final, a rematch of the 2021 final which Medvedev won in straight sets.
He said: “It has to be 11 out of 10 because Carlos is like that, very strong. Even here, I think he lost a set but I watched some matches, sometimes on break points, he’s running for passing shots. Amazing stuff.”
The first set against Alcaraz proved Medvedev’s bona fides as a top tennis tipster and player. The 57-minute set was tennis of the highest quality.
Neither player managed to break the other’s serve, although Medvedev lost two break points in the fourth game, and in the final eight games of the set, only eight points were won against serve.
Highlights: Alcaraz and the fiery Medvedev through to the third round of the US Open
It seemed destined for a tiebreaker, and that’s how it went. In the tie-break, the Russian collected three points on the service of Alcaraz for a loss. It proved the difference and Medvedev won the first set 7-6(7).
Alcaraz has the occasional habit of retreating when under pressure and this trait showed in the second set as Medvedev steamrolled over him. The Russian won his first three service games with love and beat Alcaraz twice as they took a 5-1 lead.
The Spaniard showed a little more resistance in the final game of the set, but not enough to prevent Medvedev from taking the score 6-1 in just 38 minutes.
Alcaraz rallied in the third, opening the set with a booming vintage service game. He broke Medvedev’s serve for the first time in the match in the fourth game and, with his own serve in excellent condition, that slim advantage was enough for him to finish the set, 6-3.
The fourth set was again a real fight.
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Alcaraz had three break points in the third game, but couldn’t convert and let a golden chance pass.
In the sixth game, with both players holding all their service games thus far, Medvedev had the last laugh in a 19-point epic, beating Alcaraz to lead 4-2.
The Russian was keen to enjoy getting closer to victory and served the game two games later.
Alcaraz fought to the last point, denying Medvedev three times a match point before finally succumbing. The fourth set was a real battle, lasting exactly an hour on court, and Medvedev prevailed to qualify for Sunday’s final.
Afterwards, Medvedev was delighted with his achievement in beating the world number 1.
He said: “I said I had to play 11 out of 10. I played 12 out of 10, except the third set. That’s the only way. I don’t know if he’s still 20 or 21 , but [he is] so young, already two Grand Slams, world No. 1 for many weeks.
“Honestly, it’s pretty incredible and I don’t think anyone has done it before him. To beat him you have to be better than yourself and I managed to do that.”
Medvedev continued: “The third set wasn’t that bad, I lost a serve. I didn’t have many opportunities on his serve, but I felt like I wasn’t so far. So I said to myself, ‘I have to keep going’. I have to do a little better on my serve.”
“I saved a few break points at 1-0. There was a very crucial, very long match where I managed to score some incredible points to stay in the match, and then he sort of – maybe – be we don’t see him do that often. – he started to miss a little. Yeah, amazing.”
Sunday’s final will be a rematch of the 2021 final between Djokovic and Medvedev, won by the Russian 6-4 6-4 6-4.