Daniil Medvedev Stuns Top Seed Alcaraz to Reach Fifth Grand Slam Final and Faces Djokovic in Showdown - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Stuns Top Seed Alcaraz to Reach Fifth Grand Slam Final and Faces Djokovic in Showdown

2021 Champion Daniil Medvedev Praises ‘Unbelievable Crowd’ Amid Tense Finish.



(@DaniilMedwed - Twitter)

By Anshu Taneja


Third seed Daniil Medvedev overcame a nervy finale to finally put away defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in four tight sets 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, and now faces Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s decider.

In a match lasting three hours and nineteen minutes on a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium, the match lived up to its billing and did not disappoint, featuring numerous outstanding rallies as both men displayed all the best of their attacking and defensive skills from all parts of the court.

“The crowd was unbelievable today. Absolutely unbelievable, I mean it” said Medvedev in his on-court interview afterwards.

“We had some crazy points and there was love to both sides. Some Spanish guys started screaming at 5-3 [in the fourth] during the points which is not so nice but I guess they were desperate. I said I needed to play 11 out of 10. I played 12 out of 10, except from the third set.”

This was the third meeting between the two this year with Alcaraz winning both matches very convincingly: the first a straight sets demolition in the Indian Wells Final – where Medvedev criticized the slow-paced surface – and then again in the Wimbledon semis where he won every set 6-3.

Both players held serve in an impressive opening set. At 4-5 down and with no room for error, Medvedev held to love and had 0-30 in the next game. Then Alcaraz held firm in a quality rally ending with a brilliant inside out forehand and escaped the game to go 6-5 up. The next game featured the best rally of the first set with Alcaraz covering the net like a man possessed and even though he pushed a volley wide, it drew a standing ovation from the crowd.

Fittingly, the set would be settled on a tiebreak where Medvedev took the first mini-break with a stunning forehand up the line but the Russian gave it straight back with a double fault and they switched ends at 3-3. But Alcaraz failed on a drop shot, and then missed a forehand to give Medvedev a real chance of taking the set – and two points later he won it with 85% of first serves won and a whopping 40% of unreturned serves.

Alcaraz, who had failed to take advantage of two breakpoints early in the first set, suddenly found himself facing one at the start of the second and surrendered his serve meekly with another failed drop shot. Meanwhile Medvedev continued dominating the baseline exchanges and took a 3-0 lead having won 14 of the first 18 points. He even carved up two more breakpoints in the next game and though he couldn’t take one, he was cruising on his service game, holding for 4-1 having not lost a point on serve thus far, and broke again in the next for 5-1.

Medvedev, who came through his quarter final in straight sets against Andrey Rublev, had now won the set 6-1 with just three unforced errors – a tactical masterclass. Simply outstanding from the World Number three, who was the tour leader with 37 wins on hard courts this year, and now tantalizingly close to his fifth Grand Slam Final.

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz had never recovered from two sets down in a Grand Slam in five previous attempts, and now had a mountain to climb. But he slowly worked his way into the set by getting the upper hand in the baseline rallies, and began focusing on Medvedev’s backhand and upped his percentages on serve. Along with thirteen blistering winners, he also converted 13 of 15 net approaches and using the energy of the crowd and relying on his inner belief, he converted on his only breakpoint with a beautiful rolled backhand lob to go 3-1 up. He held on to that lead throughout to take the set 6-3 to the delight of the crowd. Game on again.

But once again Medvedev raised his game in the fourth. Games went with serve until the sixth where Alcaraz found himself under serious pressure with some long physical exchanges and six deuce points. After thirteen long minutes Medvedev broke for a 4-2 lead. Both players held, and then at 5-3 and now serving for the match, the Russian went 0-30 down and then 15-40 down to hand some final hope to Alcaraz. He saved both and then reached match point but inexplicably threw in two double faults – showing just how much tension there actually was on court.

Once again, the crowd were treated to fabulous points in the nervy ending which see-sawed both ways at deuce before Medvedev finally put away his fourth match point to settle the enthralling contest and deny Alcaraz, meaning that Roger Federer still remains the last man to successfully defend the title back in 2008.

Medvedev has made his living with his unorthodox style of play mixed in with excellent court coverage and had a 28-5 lifetime record at the US Open over the last six years. Coming in to the match, the general consensus was that it was he who would have to come up with a different game plan and not stand so far back at the court.

“Before the match for sure I had a lot of doubts after losing easily to him twice this year. He is honestly just really unbelievable” explained Medvedev afterwards. “To beat him you need to be better than yourself and I managed to do it. The third set was not so bad. I lost one serve and I felt I wasn’t so far away on his. I managed to do some amazing points in the fourth and he started to miss a bit which we don’t usually see.”


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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