Fourth set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6 Medvedev
Medvedev opens this all-important service game with his 28th and 29th unforced errors behind two missed first serves for love-30. Uh-oh. He follows it with a 117mph service winner, but Alcaraz rips a passing shot on the following point that Medvedev returns for 15-40 and two break points. Loudest this pro-Alcaraz crowd has been all night. Medvedev saves one of them with an overhand winner, then the second when Alcaraz sends a cross-court forehand wide. Deuce. Medvedev then crunches a 126mph unreturnable serve for match point. And Medvedev double-faults on match point! Back to deuce. And Medvedev double-faults again! This time to go break point down. Unbelievable. The pro-Alcaraz crowd is roaring like crazy and the chair umpire Nico Helwerth is useless to control them. Alcaraz wastes the break point when he makes another unforced error. Then yet another unforced error by the Spaniard gives Medvedev another match point. An extended baseline rally follows … and Alcaraz wins it after 20 exhausting strokes to save a second match point!
Alcaraz then makes a backhand error for a third match point and for a third time the Spaniard saves it! Now Medvedev stakes a fourth match point behind a booming first serve and this time he’s able to convert, battering his opponent backward with a 123mph serve and closing it out with an overhand smash to win the match after three hours and 19 minutes!
Fourth set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 3-5 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz holds comfortbaly. Now it’s up to Medvedev, who is stepping to the baseline to serve for a place in the final.
Fourth set: Alcaraz *6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 2-5 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev breezes through his service game to back up the break: 110mph unreturnable out wide, 122mph second-serve unreturnable to the body, another unreturnable out wide followed by a 127mph ace out wide. Alcaraz will serve to stay to keep his US Open title defense alive following the changeover.
Medvedev breaks in sixth game of fourth set!
Fourth set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 2-4 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Just when it looks like Alcaraz is all clear at 40-15 on his serve, he donates his 31st and 32nd unforced errors, both off the forehand side, for deuce. And a 33rd moments later gives Medvedev a break-point chance, but Alcaraz rips a wicked forehand to save it. Alcaraz gets it game point, but Medvedev hits a stunning backhand winner down the line for a third deuce point. Alcaraz gets it to game point again, and Medvedev hits an even more outrageous backhand return winner for a fourth deuce point. Alcaraz then mixes in a serve-and-volley on the next point, slotting a backhand volley winner for game point that brings the crowd to their feet for a long ovation. Another game point. And Medvedev pushes it back to deuce for a fifth time by settling an 18-shot rally with a preposterous backhand winner at the net. Alcaraz noses it to another game point, but makes another unforced error on a volley for deuce number six.
As the match enters its fourth hour, a big serve by Alcaraz brings him within a point of the hold again, but Medvedev holds tight again with a forehand for a seventh deuce. Then, on the 19th point of this marathon game, Alcaraz misses a forehand volley at the net by millimeters for another break-point opportunity. And this time the world No 3 snatches it! Alcaraz nets another volley after a sensational return by Medvedev and he’s secured the break after an epic 20-point game!
Fourth set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 2-3 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev is pushed to 30-all after mixing in his eighth double fault of the match, but holds comfortably from there, pounding a 122mph ace out wide to close it out.
Fourth set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 2-2 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz holds from love-15 with some more extraordinary shotmaking from every inch of the court. He’s getting to balls that he’s got no business of retrieving. It’s like something out of The Matrix.
Fourth set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 1-2 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
And here comes Carlitos. Medvedev double-faults for love-15, then Alcaraz hits a forehand for love-30. Medvedev wins the next point, but Alcaraz responds with a forehand volley winner for 15-40 and double break point. Medvedev saves the first behind a booming serve, then the second behind an astounding 125mph second-serve service winner. Alcaraz stakes a third break point with a forehand volley winner, pumping his fist to the crowd and he circles back toward the baseline, but Medvedev saves that one, too, with a deft backhand volley winner at the net. And Medvedev serves his way out of trouble from there, earning the all-important hold from 15-40 down.
Fourth set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 1-1 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz wins four of five points for a hold that looks easy on the scoreline, but these are exchanges of extreme physical intensity. The one point he lost in the game was a jaw-dropping 24-shot all-court exchange that Medvedev finally ended with a sharply angled forehand passing winner.
Fourth set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 0-1 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev breezes through his opening service game of the fourth, closing out the love hold with his seventh ace followed by a 120mph serve out wide that Alcaraz can’t return into the court.
Third set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 6-3 Medvedev
Alcaraz gets it to 30-love after Medvedev blinks first amid a punishing 17-shot exchange. He then forces an error with a drop shot that Medvedev cant retrieve for 40-love and triple set point. Medvedev saves the first with a sharp forehand, then Alcaraz makes backhand error to waste the second. 40-30. Still one more set point. And Medvedev nets a backhand on the return of a 88mph second serve to bail out the defending champion, who has drawn closer in this best-of-five-sets semi-final!
Third set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 5-3 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev rattles off four staccato points in succession for the love hold in the blink of an eye. Alcaraz will now serve to halve the deficit as the crowd buzzes in support of the Spaniard.
Third set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 5-2 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Medvedev gets it to 30-all, then deuce, then a second deuce before Alcaraz gets the hard-fought hold to maintain distance. Some truly breathtaking ball-striking and shot-making happening within these rallies, which are alternating unpredictably from the baseline to the all-court variety. Medvedev will serve to stay in the third set after the change of ends.
Third set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 4-2 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev quickly goes down love-30 on his serve, but gets it to 30-all with a 108mph unreturnable followed by a 124mph ace out wide. He’s within a point of the game after Alcaraz sends a forehand sailing past the baseline, then nails down the hold when the Spaniard nets a backhand from the baseline.
Third set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 4-1 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
The quality of the last five minutes has been off the charts. Alcaraz wins consecutive 15-shot rallies en route to 40-love, extending a streak of six straight points won. Moments later he backs up the break with the drama-free hold.
Alcaraz breaks in fourth game of third set!
Third set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 3-1 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Now it’s a 30-all game on Medvedev’s serve after Alcaraz hits a brillian forehand passing winner that freezes the Russian at the net. Medvedev crunches a 126mph ace down the middle, but Alcaraz freezes his foe with a backhand for deuce. From there Alcaraz hits another sensations forehand passing winner for break point … and this time he converts it! A beautiful lob winner does the job and Alcaraz has broken Medvedev for the first time all night as the match closes in on the two-hour mark!
Third set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 2-1 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Medvedev gets more pressure on Alcaraz’s serve at 30-all, but the Spaniard wins back-to-back extended rallies with forehand winners to close out the hold. Still on serve early in the third.
Third set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 1-1 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz gets the better of Medvedev over a 20-shot rally for 15-30 on the Russian’s serve and the crowd swells in anticipation of a possible break. But Medvedev coolly serves himself out of trouble, holding when Alcaraz dumps a backhand into the net for his 22nd unforced error of the match (against 26 winners).
Third set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6, 1-0 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
A positive start to the third for Alcaraz, who rattles off four quick points to hold at love.
Second set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-6 Medvedev
Medvedev strolls through the finish line of this second set with a drama-free hold. He won 16 of 18 points on his serve in that set and was that much better in the return game. The defending champion is on the ropes with his title defense hanging by a thread. Can he turn it around?
Medvedev breaks in sixth game of second set!
Second set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-5 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Another dangerous moment for Alcaraz, who pounds a clean backhand winner to open his service game but soon falls behind 30-40 and break point down. He’s able to erase it behind a well-taken 114mph first serve, but Medvedev earns a second break chance moments later and this time he converts with an absolutely sensastional backhand passing shot winner that brings the crowd to its feet. The No 3 seed is up a double break and will serve for a two-sets-to-none lead.
Second set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 1-4 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev holds at love again. He’s won all 12 points on his serve in the second set. His first-serve percentage has climbed from 57% in the first to 67% in the second, while Alcaraz’s has dropped from 83% to 50%.
Second set: Alcaraz 6-7, 1-3 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz quickly goes down 15-40 on his serve, handing Medvedev a pair of break-point chances. What a turnaround! The Spaniard saves the first with a well-placed second serve that Medvedev can’t return, then the second with a forehand volley winner. Deuce. And from there Alcaraz holds with a series of extraordinary points that demonstrate his power, touch and court coverage. It’s enough to stay within contact of the suddenly unplayable Medvedev.
Second set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 0-3 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev backs up the break with brio, holding at love and winning a brutal 17-shot rally along the way with a forehand drop-shot winner.
Medvedev breaks in second game of second set!
Second set: Alcaraz 6-7, 0-2 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Medvedev wins the opening point with a sharp forehand that Alcaraz can’t handle and he’s won nine straight points and 12 of the last 15 from the start of the tiebreaker. Alcaraz wins the next two points behind strong first serves but Medvedev pushes it to 30-all then deuce. Moments later Medvedev hits a wicked backhand for his first break-point chance of the night. Medvedev jumps on a second serve with a chip return and Alcaraz tries a drop shot from the baseline … and it catches the top of the net and caroms back toward the Spaniard. Medvedev has taken the first break of the match and the upper hand this second set!
Second set: *Alcaraz 6-7, 0-1 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev holds at love to open the second set, punctuating it with a 127mph ace out wide.
First-set tiebreaker: Alcaraz 3-7 Medvedev
Medvedev holds his next service points, then snatches two quick ones off Alcaraz’s serve for 6-3 and three set points. Wow! And the Russian needs only one of them, crushing a forehand winner early in the point to close out the set!
First-set tiebreaker: Alcaraz 3-3 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Both men hold their service points until Alcaraz, serving at 2-all, watches Medvedev strikes a forehand winner. But Medvedev gives the minibreak right back by double faulting on the next point. They’re on serve going into the change of ends.
First set: Alcaraz 6-6 Medvedev
Medvedev holds at love to force a breaker. But it was the second point of the game, during which both men traded volleys at the net, in a sequence that amounted to five highlights in one, that will go down as one of the points of the tournament.
First set: Alcaraz 6-5 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
And now Alcaraz is behind love-15 on his serve for the first time in the match. Alcaraz then dumps a backhand from the baseline into the net for love-30, his sixth unforced error so far (against 12 winners). After a brief break where Medvedev complains about a light shining down from the crowd, a muscular 13-shot baseline rally breaks out which Alcaraz resolves with a sizzling forehand winner. Alcaraz follows with a 128mph body serve that Medvedev can’t get back into the court, then a forehand volley winner for 40-30. From there he grabs the hold with a well-disguised forehand drop shot from the baseline on the third shot of a baseline rally. What a showman! Medvedev will serve to force a first-set tiebreaker after the change of ends.
First set: *Alcaraz 5-5 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev opens with a 106mph service winner and a forehand winner at the net. It’s the first time he’s been ahead 30-love on his serve today. From there he hits 108mph unreturnable followed by a 122mph ace out wide to punctuate the hold at love.
First set: Alcaraz 5-4 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Another stress-free hold for Alcaraz, who’s won 20 of 25 points on his racket so far. He finishes it with a five-shot rally that yo-yos Medvedev all over the court before closing it with a forehand volley winner into the open court. Simply masterful.
First set: *Alcaraz 4-4 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
More pressure on Mededev’s serve as Alcaraz pushes it to 30-all with a couple of crisp forehands. But Medvedev follows with a 126mph ace down the middle and a forehand passing shot that Alcaraz can’t return to nail down the hold.
First set: Alcaraz 4-3 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz holds at love, breezing through another service game in roughly two minutes. The youngest No 1 seed in US Open history has gotten 17 of 20 first serves in (85%), converting 13 of 17 first-serve points (76%).
First set: *Alcaraz 3-3 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev holds but not before mixing in his fifth double fault of the night. He gotten just 14 of 28 first serves in so far, a 50% clip that he will need to improve if he hopes to topple the world No 1 (for another few days at least).
First set: Alcaraz 3-2 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz’s service games have been as brief as Medvedev’s have been drawn-out and arduous. He breezes through another one and has won 12 of 16 points on his racket so far.
First set: *Alcaraz 2-2 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Medvedev double-faults for his fourth time already. Those became a huge factor when he was blitzed 6-3, 6-2 by Alcaraz earlier this year at Indian Wells. Alcaraz gets it to 15-40 after hitting a backhand winner at the end of an 18-shot rally, aided by a poor drop shot by the Russian. Two break-point chances for Alcaraz. And Medvedev rattles off four quick to points to erase them both and hold comfortably. A heck of a save from 15-40 down as the third seed passes his first big test.
First set: Alcaraz 2-1 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz breezes to the straightforward hold of serve. He’s gotten 9 of 11 first serves in (82%), a positive early sign.
First set: *Alcaraz 1-1 Medvedev (*denotes next server)
Alcaraz wins the first point of Medvedev’s serve with a gorgeous forehand volley winner at the end of a 10-shot exchange that draws oohs and aahs from the crowd. Medvedev rattles off two quick points but double-faults for 30-all. He responds with a 125mph ace down the middle, but follows that with a second double fault for deuce. It’s touch-and-go over the next few minutes as Alcaraz pushed it to four deuce points without getting to a break, but Medvedev finally able to escape with the hold. Early days, but Medvedev struggled mostly in that service game with points on his second serve (winning only 3 of 7).
First set: Alcaraz 1-0 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)
Carlos wins the first two points behind second serves, but Medvedev wins a couple of points to apply early pressure at 30-all. But Alcraraz holds comfortably from there, capping the game with a sharp forehand to settle a 13-shot rally.
Medvedev and Alcaraz have emerged from the tunnel to robust cheers inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. They meet chair umpire Nico Helwerth at the net for the coin toss. Alcaraz calls heads. It’s tails and Medvedev elects to receive.
Both have taken the baseline to go through their warm-ups and we should be under way in the next three minutes.
Here’s Tumaini Carayol’s match report from today’s first semi-final, where Djokovic won in three sets to equalPhiladelphia’s own Bill Tilden record of 10th US Open final appearances.
Hello and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for tonight’s blockbuster semi-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev. We’ve got a delicious matchup in store under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium between the past two US Open champions for a place in Sunday’s final against Novak Djokovic, who saw off the American upstart Ben Shelton in straight sets earlier today.
The 20-year-old Alcaraz, the top seed who captured his first career major title here last year, has won 24 of his past 25 matches at grand slams dating back to the start of last year’s US Open and is bidding to become the first back-to-back men’s champion at Flushing Meadows since Roger Federer won the last of five titles in a row in 2008. He is also trying to become the first man to win three slams before his 21st birthday since Mats Wilander won the 1982 French Open, the 1983 and 1984 Australian Opens and the 1985 French Open.
Medvedev, the 27-year-old from Russia seeded third, is taking aim at his third US Open final in five years and a fifth overall at grand slam. He’s right at home on the blue hard courts of Queens, having won the 2021 title over Djokovic and given Rafael Nadal everything he could handle in a titanic five-set final here back in 2019. His overall record in New York is 28-5, an .848 win rate that represents his best at any of the majors.
The stadium is filling up and the crowd buzzing for a clash between two of the sport’s true heavyweights. The players should be on court for their warm-ups in about 15 minutes.
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s a kook back at today’s first men’s semi-final.