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Sports, Tennis

Medvedev wary of ‘one brutal shot’ from Alcaraz


By AFP
Published : 13 Jul 2023 09:57 PM
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Daniil Medvedev admits he is wary of Carlos Alcaraz's "one brutal shot" which could kill off his hopes of upsetting the world's top player in their Wimbledon semi-final.

Medvedev battled back to defeat unseeded Christopher Eubanks in five sets and reach the last four at the All England Club for the first time on Wednesday.

He will face the top seed and reigning US Open champion Alcaraz with a healthy respect for the Spaniard's raw power.

"If you give him one easy shot, you can be in trouble," said Medvedev.

"There are big chances you're going to get a winner with, let's say, Novak or Rafa (Nadal) -- you kind of feel like you can have a chance to get to this shot.

"But with Carlos, you're not going to get this one. One shot sometimes is brutal."

Medvedev defeated Alcaraz at Wimbledon for the loss of just seven games in the second round in 2021, when the Spaniard was still 18.

The Russian also has the experience of having beaten Novak Djokovic at a Slam, when he came out comfortably on top in the 2021 US Open final.

Medvedev hopes his greater experience will prove crucial on Friday.

"I have played a lot of great players in my career. I managed to win many times. So I'm going to try to do my best. If I show my best, I'll have my chances," he insisted.

On Wednesday, world number three Medvedev triumphed over 43rd-ranked Eubanks 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.

Medvedev hit 52 winners compared to Eubanks' 74 but crucially committed just a meagre 13 unforced errors to his opponent's 55.

Eubanks, who had shocked fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round, was attempting to become just the third man to reach the semi-finals on debut.

However, the 27-year-old's challenge fizzled out in the final set of a bruising, big-hitting contest.

"After the first set, I didn't want to go five sets but when I lost the third, I was happy to go five," said Medvedev, who fired 28 aces.

"There were moments in the match when I was losing the game so to say and he was playing well.

"I started to sink and make mistakes but after the third set I started to build something. I had more opportunities in the fourth set and after the tiebreak I played amazing."

Eubanks, the breakout performer of this year's tournament, had never previously got past the second round of a Slam before this year's Wimbledon.

However, he leaves having hit an event-leading 102 aces and a tournament record 321 winners.

His all-action game thrilled the All England Club crowds, although it left him nursing 26 double faults and 218 unforced errors over five rounds.

Eubanks said he will not change his approach or style, which will lift him to the cusp of the top 30 next week.

"I think it tells me that when I'm having fun and I'm playing carefree, I'm a pretty good tennis player," he said.