World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz dismantled No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets, setting up a final against Novak Djokovic for the Wimbledon title and the world No. 1 ranking on the ATP Tour.
Alcaraz will play for the Wimbledon title and a chance to earn his second Grand Slam. Standing in his way is 23-time champion Novak Djokovic, who will attempt to match Roger Federer’s record of eight titles when playing the Spaniard on Sunday.
Alcaraz keeps No. 1 ATP ranking
The 20-year-old has been vocal in saying that one of his goals was having another go with Djokovic, a chance for some redemption. The last time Alcaraz was in a Grand Slam semifinal it was against Djokovic, when the match was halted by cramping and would put a damper on his Roland Garros campaign.
Now, he will face Djokovic as the pair meet for the third time in their careers, after defeating No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Centre Court on Friday.
“Everyone knows the legend he is. He is going to be really difficult. I will fight. That’s myself. I will believe in myself, I will believe I can beat him here,” Alcaraz said on court.
This was Medvedev and Alcaraz’s second time facing off at Wimbledon, coming two years after the then-No. 2 Medvedev first routed a younger No. 75-ranked Alcaraz in straight sets back in 2021. The situation couldn’t be more different for the Russian this year, with Alcaraz now ranking No. 1 in the world and matching Medvedev with a US Open title last year.
With Djokovic cruising into the Wimbledon final after a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over No. 6 Jannik Sinner earlier in the day, Alcaraz and Medvedev took the center court hoping to join the Serbian there for the first time. Alcaraz would prove difficult to keep up with and was firing from the get go. Once he settled into the set early, it was almost impossible to disrupt his rhythm .
Medvedev didn’t do himself any favors. He was either standing far behind the baseline trying to answer Alcaraz’s big serves or not able to be consistent to set up points. This just pumped up Alcaraz to try for bigger serves and even crazier angles at will. The Russian’s return had little impact, with Alcaraz capturing all the break points he faced in the opening two sets. Alcaraz won 85% of points on his first serve.
Alcaraz ran wild, enacting his well rounded game and messing with the pace to throw off his opponent. Controlling the points with his serve, blazing through groundstrokes and bringing Medvedev up to the net whenever he wanted to with picture perfect drop shots.
When Alcaraz blew the third set wide open with a 3-0 lead, which is where Medvedev saw the match slipping away from him. Nevertheless he continued to stick to his strategy, trying to absorb Alcaraz’s shots and returning them with vigor to finally open up chances on the Spaniard’s serve.
It would be too late for Medvedev, as Alcaraz broke back each time and ended the match on a high note, ripping a mind blowing cross court shot that buzzed behind Medvedev, sealing the Russian’s fate as the crowd roared.
Alcaraz moved much better than he had previously in the tournament. It seemed like he was getting used to the nuances of the grass court just in time for the final.
“That is like a soccer goalie trying to stop a penalty kick.” said Brad Gilbert, commentator on ESPN when referring to Alcaraz’s dazzling efforts to return every ball.
Alcaraz stretched Medvedev quite thin, running him around the court back and forth. This was quite the burn on the lungs. It was a rough site to see Medvedev struggling to find any answers at all to Alcaraz’s brilliance. He switched racquets, tried different strategies, but nothing sticked.
The Spaniard took away what players can do best on grass, serve and dictate points, which had Medvedev completely rattled. His identity as a player was lost the entire match.
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Featured Image courtesy of Wimbledon
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