Sunday, June 16, 2024

Nitto ATP Finals: Medvedev regrouping & ready for semis after losing to Alcaraz

After just 80 minutes on court Friday, Daniil Medvedev suffered his first loss of this year’s Nitto ATP Finals. But the World No. 3 is not dwelling on the defeat to Carlos Alcaraz, nor does he have time to. Medvedev is keeping a short memory, turning his attention to tomorrow’s semi-final showdown against home favourite Jannik Sinner.

“For sure I would love to win this match, but it didn’t happen. Now I have to forget it very fast and try to focus only on tomorrow,” said Medvedev, who finished second in Red Group. “At this moment, the only thing that is left is I have a match quite soon, less than 24 hours. I have to only [think] after I leave this room, ‘How do I beat Jannik tomorrow?’”

Prior to October, Medvedev was 6-0 against Sinner in their Lexus ATPHead2Head series. But with the Italian defeating him in the Beijing and Vienna championship matches, Medvedev is aiming to end his two-match skid against Sinner.

“At this moment he’s in top form. The results prove it. He can do everything,” Medvedev said. “He can serve-and-volley, but at the same time he can stay at the baseline and be very good. Some dropshots, slice, down the line, cross. He can do every shot and that’s why he’s a top player.

“I felt like in Vienna I made a good response to what he did in Beijing, but I still lost. I need to be even better, to respond better to his shots. I need to definitely be at my absolute best and better than today.”

Medvedev’s 6-4, 6-4 defeat to World No. 2 Alcaraz moved the Spaniard to 3-2 in their Lexus ATPHead2Head series. Medvedev ousted Alcaraz in the US Open semi-finals and stated in his on-court interview, ‘I played 12 out of 10.’ After Friday’s defeat, Medvedev was once again asked to rate his performance versus the two-time major champion.

“I would give myself 8.5, which is a pretty good score, but it’s not enough to beat Carlos,” Medvedev said. “The mindset was the same. As I said coming into this match, you don’t want to lose a match before playing semis. It’s not the best feeling to lose a match. Your body reacts differently. Now I have to kind of regroup myself for tomorrow.”

One tactic Alcaraz employed was moving forward to counter Medvedev’s deep court positioning, often serve-and-volleying to apply pressure on the World No. 3.

“I think it’s kind of a good tactic against me, but you have to be good at the net,” Medvedev said. “For example, Sascha [Zverev], for me he’s a very good player at the net. Carlos was able to do some sliding volleys today. Maybe there are two, three players in the world that can do it. Sascha was going to the net a lot, but I passed him a lot.

“I know how to do passing shots and I will do it more because maybe more guys have come to the net. To beat me just coming to the net is not enough. I will pass. You have to be really good at the net. If guys continue to do it and I really struggle, I’m going to find a way. For the moment, I don’t see this.

“Sometimes they succeed, but sometimes they lose also. Carlos against me at the US Open was going to the net I think 50 times and he lost the match. Same with (Christopher) O’Connell (at the US Open).”



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