Don't miss any stories Follow Tennis View

Alcaraz Advances To His First Wimbledon Final

Jul 14th 2023

Carlos Alcaraz conquers Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in Wimbledon semi

Both have won five titles this season and reached the penultimate round at the All England Club for the first time in their burgeoning careers. Carlos Alcaraz from Spain just twenty years of age, is the youngest year-end number one and last September became the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras (1990).

Daniil Medvedev from Russia, reached the pinnacle of the sport in February 2022 soon after Russia invaded Ukraine. Last June, the 2021 US Open champion was barred from playing any grass court events in England, including the Championships. The twenty-seven-year-old weathered the relentless storm of criticism despite his repeated assertions that he prayed for peace and resides in Monaco.

Attempting to defend his title in New York, he fell in the round of 16 to an in-form and inspired Nick Kyrgios. He seemed to have lost his mojo but demonstrated newfound energy and motivation following the birth of his first child last October.

They split their two previous meetings; the first in 2021 in the second round at Wimbledon won by Medvedev in straights and the last, this past March in the final of Indian Wells won emphatically in straights by Alcaraz. Shortly after 5pm local time with the roof closed, the combatants took to Centre Court vying for a coveted spot in the final.

Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Alcaraz served first and held at love while Medvedev held to 15 with his first ace to level. The Spaniard gifted two forehand errors and faced two deuce points yet held for 2-1 while the Russian struck three groundstroke winners for 2-2. The top seed donated two additional forehand errors but with two outstanding drop shots and a drop volley winner, held to 30 for 3-2.

Medvedev opened the sixth with a backhand down the line stab volley winner and with a monster serve up the tee, held to 30 to level while Alcaraz missed wide with a drop shot but with two spectacular forehands, held to 15 for 4-3.

The former world #1 serving with new balls, hit his second ace but faced break point and dumped serve when he overcooked a forehand. Alcaraz missed 2/4 first serves but closed out the set at love when his opponent mishit the return.

Medvedev served first in the second and held at love with a brilliant backhand down the line. Alcaraz faced two deuce and break points yet held with two aces and two consecutive winners including another extraordinary drop shot.

The 2021 US Open champion opened the third with his third ace, but a slew of errors cost him as he dropped serve following an incredible down the line return. Alcaraz opened the fourth with a winning drop shot and consolidated the break for 3-1 when Medvedev missed wide with a forehand.

The Russian attempted to stem the bleeding holding at love for 2-3 while Alcaraz returned the favor with a love hold for 4-2. Medvedev hit his fourth ace and with a stunning forehand down the line, held to 30 for 3-4.

The reigning US Open champion continued to employ the serve and volley as it unwaveringly paid dividends. He opened the 8th with this third ace and with another crisp crosscourt backhand volley, held at love for 5-3.

Medvedev serving to stay in the set could not stave off the inevitable as his opponent doggedly applied pressure from all sectors. He faced triple break point and conceded the set when he overcooked a backhand.

The Spaniard remained tenacious and bold as he opened the third with three consecutive winners including an ace out wide to hold at love. Medvedev, who plays faster than most, continued to forge ahead full throttle. He opened with a double fault and with another, faced double break point and dumped serve when he mistimed a forehand.

Alcaraz opened the third with a forehand volley winner and despite gifting a double fault, consolidated the break for 2-0. The Russian rattled and befuddled, hit two winners including his fifth ace and with an overhead smash, got on the board.

Alcaraz perhaps sensing the magnitude of the moment, committed four unforced errors including a double fault to drop serve. Medvedev, however, could not capitalize on the opportunity as his first serve customarily a reliable weapon, went m. i. a.

He missed 8/12 first serves including a double fault and faced three deuce and five break points before conceding the game while Alcaraz donated two consecutive forehand errors to give back the break.

Medvedev serving with new balls struck two forehand winners but with three unforced errors including another double fault, dumped serve. Alcaraz serving for his first Wimbledon final, lost the opening point when his opponent ripped the return but with a breathtaking crosscourt forehand swing volley winner secured victory.  

Alcaraz clearly had a game plan and executed it to perfection. He was mentally and tactically superior to his opponent. He finished with 4 aces, 3 double faults and won 73% of first and 57% of second serve points.

Where he really did damage, however, was on the return; he held Medvedev to just five aces and won a staggering 30% of first and 70% of second serve return points. He saved 2/4 break points, converted 6/14, and struck 27 winners to 17 unforced errors. He will need to perform at the same level or higher in the championship match on Sunday.

His opponent will be attempting to tie two existing records and extend another. Should Novak Djokovic prevail in the final, he will tie Bjorn Borg and Roger Federer in winning five consecutive Wimbledon titles. In addition, he would tie Federer with 8 Wimbledon crowns and extend his lead to 24 grand slam titles – four clear of Federer and two ahead of Rafa Nadal.

Alcaraz and Djokovic will be playing for the third time. Alcaraz took the first on the dirt in three tight sets en route to the title in Madrid last year while Djokovic this past May won in four in the semis at Roland Garros. This will be their first meeting on grass with grand slam glory and the number one ranking on the line.