Djokovic v Sinner, Alcaraz v Medvedev; Wimbledon SF Picks And Pans

by Sean Randall | July 13th, 2023, 7:17 pm

A really good semifinal line-up awaits Friday at Wimbledon with four Top 8 players including the Top 3.

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner all made it to the final weekend in scathed and intact. Out final four is basically chalk (i.e., no surprises).

During the fortnight, however, we did get a few headscratchers. Chris Eubanks was the latest breakout star. The 27-year-old made full use of that wiry 6-foot-7 frame and his smarts to disrupt all foes. Credit to Medvedev for solving the Eubanks problem.

The other touted Americans didn’t fare well as Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe flamed out. Casper Ruud thinks grass is for golf. The Canadian duo of Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime are broken. As is Andrey Rublev. But otherwise, the last four were probably picked by 95% of prognosticators.

As for what happens now?

Jannik Sinner v Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is the clear favorite but I just don’t feel like he’s at his prime best. Meanwhile, Sinner might have just run through the easiest draw ever to reach a Grand Slam semifinal — not playing anyone in the Top 75!

Still, both guys won five matches and have built confidence during the event. But after last year’s collapse and the fact Sinner — even though he’s made his first Grand Slam semifinal — doesn’t have signature win to his name at this level, I can’t pick him here.

Maybe next year, maybe in New York, but not now. Not on grass on which Sinner is his least experienced.

Going back to the French, the way Djokovic all but made Alcaraz crumble to bits had to have sent a reminder message to the locker room, and Sinner probably was among the first to get that message. Add in the bitter taste of that blown 2-0 lead from last year, and it all spells trouble for the 21-year-old from Italy.

Djokovic is beatable. His game, I don’t think, is as good as it was 10 years ago. He’s not quicker, not strong, his serve isn’t better, etc. But mentally he’s at his

I do think Sinner will be fine in the long run. He’ll win Slams. Just not this weekend.
The Pick: Novak Djokovic in 4

Carlos Alcaraz v Daniil Medvedev
I’ve never liked Medvedev on grass or faster surfaces, but credit to the Russian, he does well. Alcaraz calls him an “octopus” and that’s what makes Medvedev so good. He uses that frame and wingspan to track down some ridiculous shots.

The problem for Medvedev on grass is that he stands so far back. When you give up that much real estate on grass, it’s an easy drop volley every time, just like Eubanks did.

Medvedev did change tactics by moving forward more, and he will 100% have to do it again against the dropshot-minded Alcaraz to have any chance.

Alcaraz also has a punishing serve, as big of groundstrokes as Eubanks, way better backhand and he’s much quicker. Medvedev has no chance if he thinks he’ll win just playing defense, that is unless Alcaraz misfires.

The 20-year-old did overhit a few times against Holger Rune and I expect he will tomorrow. But not enough.

For Medvedev to win, he’ll have to eclipse his 28 ace output against Eubanks and stand on the baseline to guard against the dropshot. Medvedev’s a smart guy, so it will be interesting to see what he decides to do.

With Alcaraz, we already know what he’s doing.
The Pick: Alcaraz in 4

I’m most intrigued by Alcaraz-Medvedev because I do think after Alcaraz destroyed Medvedev in that Indian Wells final, Daniil will come up with something new.

Alcaraz is still young so things can get to him — like Djokovic did in Paris.

As for Sinner, he’s got the game. The skillset is there, but I don’t think he has the mental belief yet. But if Djokovic has a really bad day and Jannik serves well, I guess it’s possible.

We’ll find out Friday!

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13 Comments for Djokovic v Sinner, Alcaraz v Medvedev; Wimbledon SF Picks And Pans

chrisford1 Says:

Sometimes fans and tennis stat freaks get into the only Slam Wins Count mindset. That a RUP is just as bad as a 1st round loss without that title!!
They overlook that every tennis pro would be proud of a career that had a Slam QF or above, got an Olympic medal in the final – or an ATP championship.
Djokovic 35 Slam Finals, 43 if you add his ATP Finals.

The mark of the Big 3 was consistent excellence, save for injury. Year after year, always in contention for the big money, the big titles.

Congrats to Novak. Who is far more than just his “Slam Count” in accomplishments –
Name the ATP pro that simply made it to the last 3 Slam QFs besides Djokovic. You can’t because there is none.

All out Says:

Congratulations to both Djokovic and Alcaraz today. They both played really well and deserve to be in the final. I’m really surprised by the level alcaraz played today. If he keeps improving at this rate or close to this rate it won’t be very long before he starts to dominate the slams. The second serve needs improvement as it could be a vulnerability in the finals this year.
Djokovic is still clearly the favourite to lift the trophy this year though and I don’t think he’ll drop this against Carlos. Just hope the final is equal to the 2019 Wimbledon finals.

Dave Says:

If that was hindrance on Djokovic today then Sabalenka would lose almost every point in all of her matches.

Wog Boy Says:

How on earth Medvedev thought that he can beat Alcaraz playing from the stands, who ever chose the tactics isn’t the smartest man?
Sinner was much more formidable opponent to Nole than Medvedev was to Alcaraz and he had his chances against Nole for a difference of Medvedev.

It’s obvious now that Alcaraz will dominate next decade (I will still cheer Sinner) fastest improving player that I’ve seen since Nadal.
Sunday match is a toss, it’s hard to beat Spaniard twice in a row in GSs, I would give him slight advantage for Sunday match.

Wog Boy Says:

Dave, agree very much, I watched it numerous times, the grunt finished before ball arrived on Sinner side, Sinner wasn’t affected and put ball back in play, that call almost messed up Nole since he was given time violation in the very same game?!

Funny how nobody is calling out Alcaraz for his extended grunts that usually start afyer he hits the ball not when he hits the ball, often when serving too?!
Serena used to do the same but not as regularly as Alcaraz.

Dave Says:

I noticed the same with Alcaraz too. He never gets called for hindrance either. I’m going to just say this up front. Just watch and see. If Alcaraz wins on Sunday, don’t be surprised if the following things happen. The media starts hyping up Alcaraz saying is he the greatest? And a huge amount of Nadal and Federer fans jumping the The bandwagon over to Carlitos. Because if Federer and Nadal can’t be the best of their generation, then it doesn’t matter anymore because Alcaraz is better than all of them. Anyone but Djokovic. As long as it’s not Djokovic than order can be restored. It’s actually hilarious to be honest. And I totally agree with the next decade of absolute dominance by Alcaraz. He’s already dominating Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas from that generation. Rune and Sinner aren’t even close. so there will be calendar slams happening and everything. That’s my take on things at the moment.

Dave Says:

At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter who’s the best or not. It’s just funny the tennis establishment has to make sure it’s someone else. And Alcaraz is the new face of tennis. He will probably almost never need to worry about crowds being against him. He will probably have 99.9% of the support on Sunday, much like Federer in 2019. I think he’s a nice guy and has more talent than any player I’ve ever seen. But like the Federer and Nadal stories, I just don’t find it all that compelling like the Djokovic story where he was the underdog that crashed the Federer and Nadal party and upset a lot of crowds and a lot of people. And with most of the crowds against him, he pulled off what pretty much anyone watching tennis thought was impossible seeing’s him from 2007 to 2010.

For me the Alcaraz and Federer stories just don’t catch my attention the same way. You’ve got more support than anyone else and almost all of the media is on your side. Of course its not their fault. I just will never get excited about those kinds of stories.

zed Says:

Whilst I do not think Alcaraz will be standing still, I also do think players like Sinner, Rune etc will be motivated to figure out where they are falling short and then work hard at those shortcomings.

Novak, Roger and Rafa would not have been the players they were if not for each other.

I really like Sinner as a player and I think he will find ways to beat Alcaraz, same with Rune. Both of them need to emulate Novak’s dedication.

In the near-term the haters will keep hating Novak and Novak will keep winning, fueling the hatred of the haters even more. It’s sad when all you have is hate and there is no way to resolve things within yourself, it’s like the hate is taking over you.

I must admit that when I read the words of people like Okiegirl and Giles I feel pleasure from their frustration and anger, it’s like their hatred feeds my love and makes it all the greater.

Winners seem to grow stronger when in the presence of losers.

skeezer Says:

It’s laughable to see Djoker fans whine moan and complain now, even when he wins lol..
The Fedal chip on the shoulder continues……

Wog Boy Says:

Dave and Zed, enjoyed reading your posts.

Disgruntled Rafa and Federer fans already jumped the bandwagon and now they are Alcaraz “fans” for the exact reason you mentioned, just check this site.

Sinner actually played very good match and I agree with his statement at the press conference that he felt closer to the win this time than last year match, even last year one was five setter.
Looking at him and his ethnic background and his work ethics I believe that he won’t leave stone unturned in order to improve his game, I believe he will succeed. He already looks physically better than 6 months ago.

zed Says:

WB, Yes I look forward to seeing this young man become an all time great. My son really likes Sinner’s game and thinks he will surpass Alcaraz.

Skeezer, I understand. You have nothing left, all hope has evaporated for you and creatures like you. All that is left for your type is sour grapes sneering. You can type all you want but all I hear is “whine, whine, whine”.

Incy _Wincy _ Spider Says:

Sampas won it 7 times, Federer won it 7 times, Novak won it 7 times, Nadal won the FO 14 times, so what if people want a new champion

Okiegal Says:

Bog Boy… I don’t think I’d talk about anybody jumping ship. You did the same thing with Novak when he was all chummy with that guru guy. You were even blasting him for his diet. You threw your goat under the bus on more than one occasion. So buzz off!

Zed….don’t worry about Okiegal, she’s doing just fine. I will put my support behind Carlos. VAMOS!!

What’s really eating on Novak fans is the fact that he will never be ❤️ like Roger and Rafa are ❤️‼️Bottom line, end of story………

Oh and the “boo hoo” gesture was still the most childish action I’ve ever seen from a grown man. It rates up there with Nick and his antics.

Raise the trophy Carlos, I’ll be in your corner!! If you don’t, the sun will still rise and set the next day. VAMOS‼️

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