Djokovic and Nadal giving Medvedev hope ahead of US Open clash with Alcaraz

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Carlos Alcaraz possesses every shot there is in tennis, but is beatable, just like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. That’s the view of Daniil Medvedev, who will face the top-seeded Spaniard in the semi-final of the US Open.

Alcaraz is the defending champion at Flushing Meadows, while the Russian world No. 3 won the Grand Slam title in 2021. The winner of Friday’s mouth-watering duel will earn the right to face either Novak Djokovic or unseeded American Ben Shelton in the showpiece final.

Alcaraz arrived at Flushing Meadows as World No 1. and Wimbledon champion but although the 20-year-old will be considered the hot favourite, Medvedev insists that his opponent is beatable, just like the game’s modern greats Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are.

Speaking about Alcaraz after his straight-sets quarter-final victory against Andrey Rublev on Wednesday evening, Medvedev said: “He has every shot. He has extra power compared to other players.

“Maybe 97 per cent of players, it’s tough for them to hit the ball through me. I’m always there. Always running. He can do it just because he has this power. We see it. 100 mph forehand winner and stuff like this.

“Some players, even if we try, we can’t do it. He has every shot in the game. But you can always beat players. People beat Novak. People even beat Rafa on clay, which is almost impossible. It’s the same about Carlos. Every time I’ll play against him, I’ll be trying to win.”

“I said it one time already. I need to serve better than in previous matches. On the line if I need to. I need to put my shots on the line and stuff like this. I need to be there 100 per cent of the time and be better.”

Medvedev had to endure brutal conditions to earn his place in the semi-final, with a straights sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Rublev only telling half the story. Playing on the hottest day of the tournament, the Russian went a break down in all three sets before bouncing back every time.

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As both players struggled to handle the stifling conditions, the No. 3 seed had to call the doctor to the court twice before later admitting that at one point he was unable to see the ball properly.

“Honestly, at the end of the first set I kind of could not see the ball anymore. I kind of played with sensations, just try to go for it, try to run, try to catch the balls and he did the same,” said Medvedev.

With five tour titles to his name this season, the 27-year-old remains the third favourite to lift the US Open title on Sunday, but with his only Gram Slam success to date coming on the very same courts two years ago, Alcaraz can expect not to have everything his own way in the semi-final on Friday.

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