Carlos Alcaraz is defeated by Daniil Medvedev to get to the US Open final

Daniil Medvedev anticipated he would have to play “11 out of 10” to move beyond reigning champ and top-cultivated Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open.

How did Medvedev rate his performance in the semifinals against Alcaraz on Friday night?

“I played 12 out of 10,” Medvedev declared after eliminating Alcaraz 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to set up a rematch in the final against Novak Djokovic, a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4) winner over unseeded American Ben Shelton earlier Friday.

The No. 3-cultivated Medvedev came out on top for his solitary significant title at Flushing Glades in 2021 by overcoming 23-time Hammer champ Djokovic in that year’s championship. Because of this, Djokovic was unable to complete what would have been the first men’s tennis calendar-year Grand Slam since 1969.

People had been hoping for a title battle between Djokovic and Alcaraz before these two weeks even started. Djokovic is 36 years old, so their rivalry spans generations; The tennis community has been captivated by the Alcaraz 20 in recent months.

A gathering in New York on Sunday would have been a rematch of the last of the Cincinnati Experts last month, won by Djokovic, and of the last at Wimbledon in July, won by Alcaraz, and of an elimination round at the French Open in June, won by Djokovic.

But it didn’t happen.

Medvedev obstructed the path.

“These kind of matches can happen,” Alcaraz said.

Who will give up the No. 1 spot? No matter what happens on Sunday, Djokovic will hold the No. 1 ranking. He had been attempting to become the first man to win five consecutive championships in New York since Roger Federer did so from 2004 to 2008.

Alcaraz had discussed his development over the past year and how much more mature he had become days earlier.

“After this match, I’m going to change my mind,” Alcaraz said. “I’m not mature enough.”

As a result, Medvedev, a 27-year-old Russian, will win the US Open for the first time in five years and compete in his fifth major title match overall.

He lost to Rafael Nadal in New York in 2019 and at the Australian Open in 2022, and to Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2021.

“The challenge is that you play a guy that won 23 Grand Slams, and I have only one,” Medvedev said, looking ahead to taking on Djokovic. “When I beat him here, I managed to play better than myself, so I need to do it again. There is no other way.”

This season, Medvedev had lost to Alcaraz twice, once in the Wimbledon semifinals. Medvedev was concerned by those opposite outcomes.

“Before the match, for sure, a lot of doubts,” he said.

However, Medvedev prevailed over the world’s No. 1 for the 6th time – – the main dynamic players with additional successes over ATP No. Nadal has 23 victories, Djokovic has 16 victories, and Andy Murray has 12 victories. Murray’s unmatched success on hard courts continues. Medvedev has won 235 matches, appeared in 28 finals, and won 18 titles on hard courts since the beginning of 2018.

Alcaraz observed with a grin that he stood far back to return serves and would conjure passing shots “from his house,” noting that Medvedev hit his forehand harder than usual.

A pivotal moment: Medvedev won the following four points and the set from a 3-all position in the initial tiebreaker.

Alcaraz stated, “I totally [lost] my mind.”

Alcaraz considered hitting his racket against a couple of plastic bottles on the floor near his seat when Medvedev took a 3-0 lead in the second set. However, he held off.

“It was tough,” Alcaraz said, “for me to stay calm.”

There were snapshots of brightness from the two men, presentations of physicality, impulses and shot-production that rescued fans once again from their seats.

Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion and Alcaraz’s coach, also frequently rose from his spot in a corner guest box at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Throughout the second set, Ferrero kept up a constant patter of instructions and exhortations in Spanish and appeared anxious as the match appeared to be getting away from his team.

Everything helped, if by some stroke of good luck momentarily. In the third set, Alcaraz really got going, and he was successful with his net-charging strategies, which included a lot of serve-and-volleying. He won 54 of 70 focuses that he completed at the net.

Medvedev performed similarly to the past. He won 101 of the 174 exchanges that lasted four strokes or less, saving eight of the nine break points he faced and frequently winning the match’s shortest points.

“Against someone like Carlos, you have to serve well,” Medvedev said. “You have no other choice.”

Alcaraz was down 3-2 in the fourth set, which was the final twist. It was an extensive game that endured almost 15 minutes, loaded up with a lot of great returning by the thin Medvedev, whose long arms appear to get his racket to everything.

Alcaraz looked up and clapped his hands together as if to say, “Thank you!” when one Medvedev return hit the ground.

Alcaraz, on the other hand, couldn’t quite hit a volley as he reached for an angled, dipping backhand return.

“That game was amazing,” Medvedev would say later.

Even though he had to put aside two double faults while serving for the victory as some spectators called out to distract him, it gave Medvedev the advantage he would not give up.

“That’s not so nice. But I’m happy it didn’t help them,” Medvedev said. “They can go to sleep now.”

Alcaraz was asked the way that long he’ll stew over this difficulty.

“Days? Weeks? I don’t know,” he responded. “I don’t think I’m going to think about this loss for a long time.”