TURIN, Italy: Carlos Alcaraz leaned back, looked up and yelled in celebration. The Spaniard had just secured a spot in the semifinals of the ATP Finals in his tournament debut, setting up a match against top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
”It’s one of the most difficult challenges that I’m going to face, facing Novak in the ATP Finals, where he has won six times,” Alcaraz said. “Novak is Novak. He is the best player in the world right now. He’s lost just six matches this year, he’s unbelievable.”
Alcaraz and Djokovic have played each other four times and won two each. Djokovic won their most recent encounter in the final in Cincinnati in August, while Alcaraz beat the Serb in the Wimbledon final.
That left him needing to beat Medvedev, who had already qualified for the semifinals, to advance. The Russian didn’t make it easy.
In the seventh game, Alcaraz broke Medvedev to love for the lead. He then held three set points but needed only one to take the opener with a powerful, cross-court backhand.
With Alcaraz advancing, the top four players in the world have qualified for the semifinals. Medvedev will face Jannik Sinner.
In the final group match later Friday, Zverev will play Rublev. Neither player can advance.