ATP Finals Daily Preview: Djokovic Plays Alcaraz, Medvedev Plays Sinner in the Semifinals - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


ATP Finals Daily Preview: Djokovic Plays Alcaraz, Medvedev Plays Sinner in the Semifinals



Novak Djokovic on Thursday in Turin (

It’s Semifinal Saturday in Turin, featuring the top four ATP singles players of 2023. 


Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz have been the best two men’s singles players in the world this year, and have already played two of the best matches of 2023.  On Saturday, they meet again in the semifinals of the ATP Finals.  Will they provide another classic encounter?

The other singles semifinal sees the third and fourth best singles players of the season collide, as Daniil Medvedev faces Italy’s Jannik Sinner.  Plus, the doubles semifinals on Saturday feature the defending champions, and three teams vying for their first ATP Finals title.

Jannik Sinner (4) vs. Daniil Medvedev (3) – Not Before 2:30pm

These players shared an extremely lopsided history, until this fall.  Medvedev took their first six matches, from February of 2020 all the way up to this year’s championship match in Miami.  However, Sinner has now won their last two, in the final of both Beijing and Vienna.  All of their meetings have occurred on hard courts.

Sinner is currently on quite a run.  He’s on a nine match winning streak, and has won 16 of his last 17.  Jannik is the only player to go 3-0 in round-robin play, as he now looks to reach the biggest final of his career in his first time qualifying for the ATP Finals.

Medvedev had an excellent start to the season, winning five titles between February and May.  But he hasn’t won a title in six months, with the two aforementioned recent losses in finals to Sinner.  This is Daniil’s fifth consecutive appearance at the ATP Finals, and his third time reaching the semifinals.  He is 2-0 in semis at this tournament, with previous victories over Rafael Nadal in 2020, and Casper Ruud in 2021.

Based on recent form, especially this week, Sinner should be favored to advance to Sunday’s championship match.  However, that’s only if he’s feeling close to 100% physically.  During his last round-robin match on Thursday against Holger Rune, Jannik was obviously suffering from some lower back pain.  And Medvedev is one of the last people you want to face if you’re looking to shorten points due to an injury.  But with the partisan Italian crowd behind him, I like Sinner’s chances to earn his third win this fall over Medvedev.

Carlos Alcaraz (2) vs. Novak Djokovic (1) – Not Before 9:00pm

They have split four previous meetings, three of which have been epic.  Last year in Madrid, Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in a third-set tiebreak after over three-and-a-half hours of scintillating rallies, and just a day after Carlitos beat his idol, Rafael Nadal.  A year later at Roland Garros, after they split two extremely-competitive sets, Carlitos’ body gave out on him, and Novak ran away with the third and fourth.

But his body didn’t fail him a month later in the championship match of Wimbledon, as Alcaraz handed Djokovic his first loss on Centre Court in over a decade, overcoming the all-time great in a near five-hour five-setter to claim his second Major title.  However, just a month after that in Cincinnati, Novak avenged that heartbreaking loss in a near four-hour three-setter, winning in a third-set tiebreak after coming back from a set and a break down, and saving championship point.

Since that loss in Cincy, Alcaraz has not been the same player, and has not reached another final after advancing to eight finals earlier this year.  But after going 1-1 in his first two round-robin matches this week, he played his best tennis in months on Friday to defeat Medvedev in straight sets, and secure his semifinal spot in his ATP Finals debut.

Djokovic also went 2-1 during round-robin play, with his loss coming in the best match of the tournament thus far: an over three-hour three-setter against Sinner.  Since losing the Wimbledon final to Carlitos, Novak is now 20-1, and has won all three events he’s entered.  But he must be a bit tired: all three of his matches this week have gone three sets, and he also played a trio of three-setters two weeks ago at the Paris Masters.  And he’s also been battling congestion throughout the week.  Despite that, he’s now reached the semifinals of this event for the 12th time in 16 appearances, as he plays for this seventh ATP Finals crown.

In their first encounter on an indoor hard court, Djokovic must be favored.  He was won nearly 200 indoor hard court matches in his career, while Alcaraz has not even played 30 matches yet in this setting, and holds a record of just 18-8, with no titles.  And their most recent meeting in Cincinnati will be at the forefront of both players’ minds, as their seasons have gone in very different directions since that grueling contest.

Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (5) vs. Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden (3) – Granollers and Zeballos are 3-0 this week, but are 0-2 in the semifinals of this event, losing in both 2020 and 2021.  Bopanna and Ebden are 2-1 this week, and Rohan is 2-0 in his previous semifinal appearances at the ATP Finals with two different partners.

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (6) vs. Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin (4) – Ram and Salisbury are the defending champions, and went 3-0 in round-robin play.  Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin went 2-1, but have now won 10 of their last 11 matches.  And two weeks ago in the semifinals of Bercy, they beat Ram and Salisbury in straight sets.

Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

Continue Reading


Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

Continue Reading


Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

Continue Reading