"My team tells me to enjoy, that it's important to enjoy and that's what I did." Doubts plagued Carlos Alcaraz just before his debut at the ATP Finals in Turin. The Murcian arrived at a delicate moment of confidence after an unsuccessful period of results. Zverev uncovered many of the problems on the first day. Rubliov served to continue the recovery. And against Medvédev, the best Carlos Alcaraz appeared on the scene again, completely recovered from the emotional ups and downs that haunted him and offering a level of tennis that only he, when he is having fun playing, is able to offer. And as a result, first in his group and an added prize, he will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals today (9 p.m.), a most special duel between the two best tennis players on the planet according to the ranking.
If anyone thought that Daniil Medvedev would offer less resistance due to being qualified for the semi-finals, they couldn't be more wrong. The Russian tennis player was a very uncomfortable opponent, with a wild serve, a threatening break and consistency in the exchanges. Aided by an extra fast track, which favors his virtues, Medvédev gave his best to try to be second in the world when this 2023 ends.
The match was fleeting, of tight lines, of imagining impossible angles, of creating minimal advantages with each stroke. The contenders were barely on the track for 1 hour and 20 minutes. But make no mistake, it was played at breakneck speed and at maximum intensity. The service dominated at the start, but soon the first cracks appeared, almost always on Alcaraz's serves. Medvédev's aggressiveness allowed him to dominate the exchanges of long strokes and made the Murcian live some very delicate moments, who just in those moments -he came to suffer two break points against him-, raised the level to get out of it completely airy
And suddenly, the Russian gets messy. If there is anything less stoic about this agile and impetuous giant it is his head. When he makes mistakes they take their toll almost immediately. In the seventh game, a double fault brought down Medvédev's house of cards. Alcaraz went all the way to the kitchen with a blank game on the Russian's serve.
At that time, the Spanish tennis player had already shown a consistency in the game that had not been seen in the tournament. And with the first prize secured, his confidence rose even further in the second heat. He started to execute the serve and volley to perfection and dominated the net with impossible house brand shots. The level kept rising and Medvédev asked for a break. But the Russian is one of those rivals against whom a small mistake can make everything come under discussion. Great restaurateur and best server, adds points in any circumstance. In the third game of the second set, Alcaraz had two break points that he wasted on unforced errors. Medvedev was still alive.
The giant then began to look for melee. In a couple of skirmishes he managed to threaten with 0-30 and 4-3 in his favour. Alcaraz applied firmness and precision to once again repair the damage. And in the ninth game, the deflation of the Russian returned. With 4-4, he was not able to enter the first serves and even gave the game away with a double fault. Alcaraz had no choice but to take what was rightfully his and continue with what for him must be routine. Win again and again.