Match Report

Alcaraz Dispatches Medvedev To Reach First Wimbledon Final

Spaniard fourth youngest men's Wimbledon finalist
July 14, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz celebrates against Daniil Medvedev on Friday at Wimbledon.
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Carlos Alcaraz celebrates against Daniil Medvedev on Friday at Wimbledon. By ATP Staff

Carlos Alcaraz became the fourth youngest Wimbledon men's singles finalist in the Open Era (since 1968) on Friday when he defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to set a title clash against Novak Djokovic that will determine which player is No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday.

Competing under the roof on Centre Court, the 20-year-old Spaniard showcased his deft touch and devastating power to become the third Spanish man to reach the title match at SW19, joining 1966 champion Manuel Santana and two-time titlist Rafael Nadal.

"It was a dream for me, playing a semi-final here, and now playing a final here at Wimbledon, I can’t believe it,” Alcaraz said. “I am going to enjoy this amazing moment.

“It was really, really difficult to close the match. I had to be really, really focused. He fought until the last ball. He is an amazing fighter. I had to show my best in that tough moment and play aggressive. Be myself all the time and I think that was the key to close out the match.”

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The World No. 1 used the drop shot to great effect to overcome Medvedev in the Indian Wells final in March and executed the tactic again on London’s lawns, exposing the 27-year-old’s deep-court position. The top seed blasted 27 winners, broke Medvedev's serve six times and consistently drew gasps from the crowd in a dominant one-hour, 49-minute performance at SW19.

With his 46th tour-level win of the season, Alcaraz drew level with Medvedev on the most matches won on Tour this year. The 2022 US Open champion will aim to move clear of the third seed when he faces seven-time Wimbledon titlist Djokovic in the final.

Alcaraz and Djokovic are locked at 1-1 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, after the Serbian defeated the Spaniard in the semi-finals at Roland Garros last month.

"It is going to be incredibly difficult but I will fight," Alcaraz said when asked about facing Djokovic. "I believe in myself and I will believe that I can beat him here. He hasn't lost on this court since 2013, so it is going to be a really tough challenge for me. I dream since I started playing to play a final here and it is even more special playing against Novak. It is a final. There is no time to be afraid, be tired. I will go for it."

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Medvedev defeated the then-World No. 75 Alcaraz in straight sets in the pair’s previous meeting at Wimbledon in 2021. The Spaniard is a different proposition two years on, though, having clinched 11 tour-level crowns since, and it showed against Medvedev in their semi-final meeting.

Alcaraz was locked in from ball one on Centre Court, hitting with great depth and precision to take time away from Medvedev. He also exposed Medvedev’s deep positioning, showing off his net skills to win 77 per cent (27/35) of points when moving forward, often feathering a drop volley that the 27-year-old had no chance of running down. He recovered from twice losing serve in the third set, raising his level further on return, before sealing victory with a stunning forehand winner.

Alcaraz, who is chasing his second major, entered the 2023 grass season having earned just four wins on the surface in his career. He has now won his past 11 matches on grass, having triumphed at The Queen’s Club last month.

Medvedev was chasing his first final appearance at Wimbledon, with his best result before this year a run to the fourth round in 2021. The third seed, who captured his only Grand Slam crown at the US Open in 2021, leaves London third in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

Did You Know?

The 20-year-old Alcaraz is the seventh man in the Open Era to reach multiple major finals under the age of 21.

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