Close victory for the Muscovite by 7-6(3), 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3
MADRID, 9 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz was eliminated this Saturday at dawn in the semifinals of the US Open, the fourth 'Grand Slam' of the year and which is being played on hard court in New York (USA), after losing 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3 against the Russian Daniil Medvedev, who will now meet the Serbian Novak Djokovic for the title.
On the field of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, before the eyes of actors such as Charlize Theron, Amy Schumer, Julianna Margulies, Jared Leto, Rami Malek and Ben Stiller, the Spaniard fell after three hours and 20 minutes of a close match that did justice to the aura of the Flushing Meadows facilities.
Medvedev started the duel more hesitant on serve, taking a while to win his debut (1-1) and even saving a 15-40 in the fourth game (2-2). Many double faults, too many for a battle of such caliber; The Muscovite accumulated up to five in his first three turns, but so far without paying a toll on the scoreboard (3-3).
The tie was close to breaking in the eleventh game, when Medvedev went 0-30 after a great parallel backhand and then a backhand from his opponent that crashed into the net. But Alcaraz tempered his spirits and turned the situation around, showing off the net and ensuring sudden death at the very least.
There, the Russian took distance with a 3-2 that disappeared quickly with another double fault; the sixth in his account of a set that, despite everything, he ended up winning due to his greater skill (7-3). The Palmar native seemed to be affected by this setback, without coughing up his rival's first serve at the beginning of the next set and conceding a break right after.
Once again blank, Medvedev made it 3-0, in a flash, and also enjoyed a 15-40 lead in the fourth game. Alcaraz dodged both threats, but the slingshot blows his opponent made already foreshadowed what ended up happening in the sixth chapter. With determination, the Moscow player made another vital break and consolidated it at 6-1.
The dynamics were quite negative for the El Palmar tennis player, so he decided to go to the locker room during the short break and recharge his 'batteries'. The mission was unprecedented for him, since in his professional career in the ATP he had never come back from two sets to win a best-of-five match.
The initial step in that company was to regain strength in what was within its direct reach: the percentage of first serves. And crystallizing that slight improvement, he scored 0-1 blank, took a breath and pushed the Russian in every return. Not in vain, he soon prowled the break ball with a 30-30 in the second chapter, predicting the fight that would come later.
1-2 without any problems and then came the fourth game, where Alcaraz with two passers delighted the public. Thanks to the second of them, he achieved a break option and sent a decoy to his rival; With that advantage, the Muscovite went up to the net and covered gaps for a third 'passing shot' that never occurred, as the Murcian made an excellent lob.
Thanks to another decisive turn of service, that break was confirmed (1-4), although Medvedev did not let his guard down and in the seventh game he forced two 'equals'. But they finally came to nothing (2-5) because the Spaniard raised his level again with the 'drive' and temporized the angles that he opened with the reverses, scoring the set (3-6) in 47 minutes.
Sports stars like Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and Tom Brady wondered from the stands if the player from Palma de Mallorca was capable of overcoming the formidable defender who was rallying on the other side of the field. But, to make matters worse, Medvedev did not slow down in his service and started leading (1-0) in the next set.
He faltered in the third game (2-1), conceding a 15-40 and later another 'break' ball, dangers that he neutralized with 'surgeon' volleys into the net and with a second-serve 'ace'. At that point in the game, Alcaraz had lost ardor, but he also preserved a smiling character and quality in abundance to continue waging war.
It was evident in the sixth game of this fourth set, whose duration of 13 minutes saw exchanges of all kinds of blows. The Murcian stuck to the net serve formula, while the nerves on the court grew, grew and grew. Many carats in each attack by Alcaraz and excellent responses from the Russian with each 'passing' of the rest.
After seven 'deuces', on the second break opportunity Medvedev finally smiled. He returned the ball to his feet, in the middle of his opponent's climb to the net, and made it 4-2. In a flash, he was 5-2 blank and squeezed the Palmareño, who withstood the challenge at 5-3. Heading into the ninth episode, he was evidently the favorite of the New York public.
And that was an obstacle for the man from Moscow to face the service that could give him victory. He started it with 15-40, an instance that he fixed with several 'sacks'; but his drive to close the match and the uproar in the stands combined for Medvedev, restless, to commit a more than inopportune double fault.
In fact, he committed another immediately and blamed it on the fans who filled Arthur Ashe Stadium. However, Alcaraz wasted his third break ball, hitting an undemanding shot into the net, and gave wings to an opponent who already secured victory on the fourth attempt; and with this, he got his ticket to his third US Open final (after 2019 and 2021).