A sizzling performance by world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP Finals has set up a mega clash with World No.1 Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4 on Friday to book a spot in the last four of the ATP Finals.
The 20-year-old overcame a sloppy start to the tournament to produce some stunning tennis. Third seed Medvedev, who had already qualified, was on his game but was unable to turn away a hungry Alcaraz, whose serve failed to be broken a single time.
Despite his opening match loss to Germany's Alexander Zverev, Alcaraz ended up topping the Red Group which means he faces the runner-up in the Green Group, who happens to be none other than Djokovic. The other semi-final will see Medvedev face local favourite Jannik Sinner.
Alcaraz and Djokovic have met three times this year with the Spaniard losing to the Serb in the Cincinnati final the last time they met. However, the youngster won their biggest meeting so far in an epic Wimbledon final, with Djokovic earning victory at the French Open.
"It's one of the most difficult challenges that I'm going to face, facing Novak in this tournament that he has won six times," said Alcaraz. "Obviously Novak is Novak, he's the best player in the world right now. I'm going to put my best tennis out there and I'm going to enjoy it. I'm excited."
Following Alcaraz's straight-sets victory social media erupted in anticipation for the blockbuster match-up pinning the two ATP Finals favourites against one another.
The last time @DjokerNole played @carlosalcaraz it was the best match I've ever seen in my life in a best of 3 sets format.
It was just so incredible and I'm genuinely looking forward to tomorrow. May the best man on the day win. 🍿#Djokovic #Alcaraz pic.twitter.com/znGxTpYp9I
— Pavvy G (@pavyg) November 17, 2023
DJOKOVIC vs. ALCARAZ TIME 🍿🍿 pic.twitter.com/JcVdoEFBqP
— Troublos (@TroublosFC) November 17, 2023
Let's be honest, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Jannik Sinner have far and away been the Top 4 players this season.
No better way to end the tennis season than them facing off in Semis and Final.
It's insane to me that after painstakingly building one of the greatest rivalry in tennis with Nadal, where every time they meet your mouth waters - Djokovic is in the midst of doing it AGAIN with Alcaraz. Like, I know he will age-out before he completes it but that's BANANAS. https://t.co/Hyt7MFroxz
— Matt.V (@TheSentinel909) November 17, 2023
Djokovic progresses thanks to the man who beat him
Djokovic's ATP Finals progress was taken out of his hands after he lost to Sinner in his first match of the ATP Finals. The defeat was the Serb's first in four months but he promptly bounced back beating Holger Rune and then Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-1 in his final group match.
The Serb extended his record over the Pole to 7-0 but admitted post-match that he had some trouble dealing with his big serve. "He's got one of the biggest serves in world," Djokovic said. "It's very, very tough to return, especially here at an altitude of nearly 300 metres. I was waiting for chances when he missed his first serve - that was my only chance."
The win meant the World No.1 finished with a 2-1 record following wins over Rune and Hurkacz (who replaced an injured Stefanos Tsitsipas). But his progression to the semis hinged on Sinner's final clash with Rune.
If Rune was to win, Djokovic would have been out but Sinner managed to secure victory in a pulsating match that ended 6-2 5-7 6-4, meaning both he and Djokovic qualified for the semis. The Serb will now gear up for a semi with Alcaraz.
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