Carlos Alcaraz Topples Medvedev To Reach Last Four At ATP Finals, Faces Djokovic Next - UBITENNIS
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Carlos Alcaraz Topples Medvedev To Reach Last Four At ATP Finals, Faces Djokovic Next

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ATP Finals debutant Carlos Alcaraz has sealed his place in the semi-finals with a straight-sets win over Daniil Medvedev. 

The two-time Grand Slam winner produced some of his best tennis to beat the Russian 6-4, 6-4. Handing Medvedev his first defeat in the tournament this year. Despite having reservations about the court speed in Turin, Alcaraz appears to be finding his footing on the surface after hitting 20 winners and winning 76% of his first serves in his latest match. 

The most important thing that I did today was to stay mentally strong,” Alcaraz told TennisTV afterward. “I was struggling with my serve a little bit during a few games. You know, his return game is amazing and he puts so much pressure on your serve.’ 
“So I had to stay strong and calm in those moments which was the key to giving me a chance to win this match.”

Seeking to avenge his loss to Medvedev at the US Open a couple of months ago, Alcaraz was tested early on in their latest clash. In the fourth game, the Spaniard was forced to save two break points en route to drawing level at 2-2. Gaining momentum, the world No.2 then struck with the help of a seven-point winning streak that ended with him hitting a backhand passing shot to break his rival for a 4-3 lead. That proved to be decisive in the opener with Alcaraz closing it out with his 12th winner of the match. 

Continuing to pile pressure on a heavy-hitting Medvedev, Alcaraz had three opportunities to break early on in the second frame but failed to capitalize. Then at 4-4, he handed another blow to his rival who hit a double fault to grant him the break and the chance to serve out the match. A task he did with relative ease, closing it out with a love service game. 

Despite losing, Medvedev has already sealed his place in the last four regardless of how Alexander Zverev fairs against Andrew Rublev in the night match. However, he has finished second in the group behind Alcaraz. 

In the semi-finals, Alcaraz will lock horns with Novak Djokovic for a place in the title match. Meanwhile, Medvedev faces a resurgent Jannik Sinner. It is only the fourth time since 1990 that the top four players in the draw have all progressed to the semi-final stage of the tournament.

“It’s one of the most difficult challenges that I am going to face,” Alcaraz commented on his upcoming Showdown with Djokovic. “Facing Novak is a tournament he has won six times. Novak is Novak, he is the best player in the world right now. He just lost six matches this year. He’s unbelievable.’
“I’m going to play my best tennis and enjoy it the same way I have done in the past few matches. I’m excited to play Novak.”

Alcaraz has now recorded 11 wins over top 10 players so far this season.

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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