Daniil Medvedev dethroned defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in a US Open thriller on Friday to set up a repeat of the final from two years ago against 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.
Medvedev defeated Alcaraz 7-6 (7/3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his fifth major final and stop Alcaraz in his quest to become the first man to retain the title in New York since Roger Federer in 2008.
“I said I needed to play 11 out of 10. I played 12 out of 10, except from the third set,” said the 27-year-old Medvedev.
“He (Alcaraz) is honestly just really unbeliev-able. To beat him you need to be better than your-self and I managed to do it.”
Medvedev now meets Djokovic on Sunday as the 36-year-old Serbian star once more goes in search of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title to crown his return to world No. 1 next week.
The third-seeded Medvedev won his lone major at the 2021 US Open when he foiled Djokovic in his bid for a calendar Grand Slam, leaving his rival in tears after a straight-sets triumph.
He produced another scintillating performance against Alcaraz, avenging a lopsided loss to the Spaniard in the Wimbledon semifinals in July.
Medvedev held his nerve under constant pres-sure from Alcaraz in the opening set, elevating his level in tiebreak to claim the final four points.
“I totally lose my mind on that set, and fighting for 50 minutes and then, you know, for four points lose my mind. It was really tough for me to handle it,” said Alcaraz.—AFP