Alcaraz beats Medvedev in straights, sets up Djokovic semifinalNovember 17, 2023
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You know it’s an absolutely incredible Nitto ATP Finals semifinal lineup when the world No. 1 (Novak Djokovic) vs. the world No. 2 (Carlos Alcaraz) may not even be considered the marquee matchup in the eyes of the Turin crowd.
That’s because Italy’s own Jannik Sinner is taking the court on semifinal Saturday, as well, and he also has a blockbuster battle on his hands against Daniil Medvedev.
Just like Djokovic vs. Alcaraz, Medvedev vs. Sinner has been one of 2023’s best rivalries. Medvedev extended his head-to-head dominance to 6-0 with victories in Rotterdam (5-7, 6-2, 6-2) and Miami (7-5, 6-3), but Sinner has finally turned the tide. The world No. 4 triumphed 7-6(2), 7-6(2) in Beijing and 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-3 in Vienna. Amazingly enough, all four of their showdowns this season have come in finals.
Saturday’s semifinal showdown will certainly feel like a final, because the atmosphere for Sinner inside the Pala Alpitour has been nothing short of raucous. The fans have been rowdy and Sinner has given them exactly what they deserve for their efforts of support: a perfect 3-0 record so far this week. The 22-year-old topped the Green Group with a 6-4, 6-4 rout of Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) upset against Djokovic, and a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Holger Rune.
Medvedev is through to the semifinals at the year-end championship for the third time in his career, seeking his third final appearance (champion in 2020, runner-up in 2021). The third-ranked Russian is the No. 2 seed out of the Red Group after compiling a 2-1 record. He opened with straight-set wins over Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev before falling to Alcaraz 6-4, 6-4 on Friday afternoon.
Although Sinner still trails the head-to-head series 6-2, the vast majority of their meetings have been competitive and their previous Nitto ATP Finals encounter was certainly no exception. In round-robin competition two years ago, Medvedev emerged victorious 10-8 in a third-set tiebreaker.
Another thriller should be in the cards, but this time Sinner may have the edge. He was without question the best player during the group stage and his home-court advantage in front of the Italian crowd is undeniable. His additional confidence from two recent wins over Medvedev is just a bonus as Sinner tries to power his way into what would be an epic 2023 finale against either Djokovic or Alcaraz.
Pick: Sinner in 3