World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev loss but the story of the day in the men’s draw Thursday in Miami was Carlos Alcaraz.
The blossoming 18-year-old came from 5-3 down in the final set breaker taking the last four points in exhilarating fashion to trip up Miomir Kecmanovic 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5).
Just a teen, Alcaraz is now 6-1 in deciding set tiebreakers after a harrow escape against the 22-year-old Serb who matched shot-for-shot with the younger star.
“Miomir was playing unbelievable,” said Alcaraz. “I knew that I had to put a good level from my side. He had chances to win the match. I did a great shot at 5-4 in the third set, 15-30. It was really, really close. The energy of the crowd pushed me. It was unbelievable. Thanks to them, I was able to win the match.
“The rest of the match I’m trying to hit the ball hard to push the opponent off the baseline,” he said. “The drop shot is good for me. I have confidence with that shot. In the tough moments you have to hit the best shots that you have.”
Alcaraz reaches his second straight Masters semifinal after Indian Wells, though he’s 0-3 in hard court semifinal matches.
On Tomorrow night, the teen will take on defending champion Hubert Hurkacz who benefited by an ill Daniil Medvedev in a 7-6(7), 6-3 denying the Russian the No. 1 ranking.
Hurkacz, who loves playing in the U.S. and especially Florida, has won his last 10 matches in Miami.
“I think the return was crucial. I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long,” Hurkacz told the crowd. “It is good I was able to get some free points.
“I have spent a lot of time in Florida, so I am used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favor today so I tried to use them.”
Meanwhile, Medvedev was battling something along with Hurkacz.
“All the match I was not feeling my best. But, you know, sometimes it happens,” said Medvedev. “I don’t know the actual reason. Maybe the heat. But I was feeling super, like, dizzy, tired, and there was this long game where I couldn’t serve anymore. Then in the locker room I was cramping quite much, so physically was not easy. But at the same time, that’s part of the game.”
Novak Djokovic will now go into the clay season as the World No. 1.
In the afternoon tomorrow, the first semifinal pits Casper Ruud against Francisco Cerundolo. Both are trying to make their first Masters final, and for Cerundolo, it’s his Masters event period, and prior to Miami, he was 0-2 at the tour level on hard courts.
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The match between Carlos and the Kecman was really exciting but also (for me) was the first example of “next level” tennis I have seen. The game these kids play is faster and also the drop shot is way more important. These guys are the future. Except for Meddy, the players hyped as the “next gen” don’t compare, IMO.
April 1st, 2022 at 9:11 am