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Medvedev Defeats U.S. Open Defending Champion Alcaraz

Daniil Medvedev rates his performance against Carlos Alcaraz as "12 out of 10" after defeating him in the U.S. Open semifinals. Medvedev will face Novak Djokovic in the final.

In the semifinals of the U.S. Open, Daniil Medvedev faced off against defending champion Carlos Alcaraz. Medvedev knew he had to bring his A-game to defeat Alcaraz, predicting that he would need to play "11 out of 10." However, after the match, Medvedev confidently declared that he played even better than expected, giving himself a rating of "12 out of 10." He defeated Alcaraz with a score of 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, setting up a final rematch against Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev, the third seed, won his first major championship at the U.S. Open in 2021 by defeating Djokovic in the final. This victory prevented Djokovic from achieving a calendar-year Grand Slam, a feat that hasn't been accomplished in men's tennis since 1969. The anticipation for a Djokovic vs. Alcaraz showdown in the final had been high, as their inter-generational rivalry has captivated the tennis world in recent months. However, Medvedev stood in the way and secured his spot in the final.

Alcaraz, who will now relinquish the No. 1 ranking to Djokovic regardless of the final's outcome, had hoped to become the first man to win consecutive championships in New York since Roger Federer's five-year winning streak from 2004-2008. But Medvedev's exceptional performance dashed those hopes. The 27-year-old Russian will now appear in his third U.S. Open final in five years and his fifth major title match overall.

Looking ahead to facing Djokovic, Medvedev acknowledged the challenge of playing against someone with 23 Grand Slam titles while he only has one. However, he drew confidence from his previous victory against Djokovic at the U.S. Open, where he played better than his own expectations. Medvedev knows he needs to replicate that performance to have a chance at winning the title again.

Before the match against Alcaraz, Medvedev had doubts due to his previous losses to the Spaniard this season, including in the Wimbledon semifinals. However, he proved himself up to the task. Both players displayed moments of brilliance, showcasing their athleticism, instincts, and shotmaking abilities. Medvedev's coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, was visibly nervous throughout the match, providing constant instructions and encouragement in Spanish from his corner guest box at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Medvedev's strong serving played a crucial role in his victory, as he saved eight of the nine break points he faced. He also excelled in the shorter points, winning 101 out of 174 exchanges that lasted four strokes or fewer. On the other hand, Alcaraz struggled to find his usual form from the baseline, making more errors than usual.

The turning point came in the fourth set when Alcaraz was serving down 3-2. It was a lengthy game that lasted nearly 15 minutes, with Medvedev showcasing impressive returning skills. Despite Alcaraz's efforts, Medvedev took the lead and maintained it until the end, even though he faced some distractions from the crowd while serving for the victory.

In the end, Medvedev emerged triumphant, and while he acknowledged the distractions from the crowd were not pleasant, he was pleased they did not affect the outcome of the match. Now, Medvedev prepares to face Djokovic once again in the final, aiming to secure another major title and cement his place among the tennis elite.

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