Hurkacz

Beaten in the quarters by Hurkacz, Medvedev misses first place in the world; all goes well for Alcaraz, who emerged victorious from the showdown against Kecmanovic.

Daniil Medvedev will wait to win the first title this season and will wait before becoming world No. 1 again: physically weakened, he could not avoid Thursday the defeat in the quarterfinals in Miami against Hubert Hurkacz, a tough titleholder.

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The 2nd world champion, finalist of the last Australian Open, lost 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 against the Pole (10th in the world), who will face the Spanish phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz (16th) on Friday.

As a direct consequence, the Russian will not return to the throne of the ATP circuit on Monday. Only an accession in the last square would have allowed him to dislodge Novak Djokovic again.

After a semi-final loss in Acapulco against Rafael Nadal, already his executioner in Melbourne, and a surprise elimination in the 3rd round of Indian Wells against Gael Monfils, this setback sounds like the end of a first-quarter hardly satisfactory for Medvedev, yet never as comfortable as on the hard surface.

He did not regain his stratospheric level of the US Open six months ago when relentless in the final, he shattered Djokovic’s one-season Grand Slam dream, preventing him from breaking the record for the number of Majors who won.

And he came across the master of the place, determined to retain his title won last year against the Italian Jannik Sinner.

Dressing room and physio

He’s an extraordinary player, but I was coming back well and putting pressure on his serve,” said the winner.

Hurkacz, who equalized with two wins everywhere in their confrontations, was indeed the most aggressive, releasing devastating forehands and not hesitating to go to the net to corner his opponent.

Relying on an excellent first ball (76%), the Pole knew not to disunite when Medvedev broke to push him to the decisive game after saving two first set balls at 5-2. The tie-break ended up smiling at Hurkacz, who needed three more chances.

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The Russian then went to the dressing room, and the wait lasted eight minutes. A harbinger of a weakening appeared more evident in the second set.

I was not at my best throughout the match,” he confirmed at a press conference. “After the difficult points, I had difficulty catching my breath. I wasn’t recovering fast enough. Maybe it was the heat, but I was dizzy, and there was a game where I couldn’t serve anymore.

Medvedev had to fight nine minutes to keep his first service game before giving up his commitment on the third, which lasted ten more, Hurkacz managing to make him bend on his 6th break ball.

“Dizziness”

Several times forced to lean back down on his racket to recover after the exchanges, Medvedev called the physio, complaining of dizziness. It did not take more for Hurkacz to shorten his ordeal after 2h 03 min.

I spent a lot of time in Florida, so I’m used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favor today,” said the Pole, in the race for a double never before achieved in Miami in the men’s category.

His next opponent will be Carlos Alcaraz, who at 18 became the third-youngest player in history, after Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (2019) and his compatriot Rafael Nadal (2005) to reach the last square of the tournament, winning a big showdown 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), at the expense of the 22-year-old Serb, Miomir Kecmanovic (48th).

These two of the most brilliant representatives of the new generation of world tennis offered for 2 hours and 26 minutes a game of striking and spectacular tennis, giving everything they had in their belly for the victory.

It went back to Alcaraz, the most enterprising in the game, like his climbs on the fly (29 points on 34 attempts).

And mentally, he was very solid: he led 5-3 in the decisive game of the 3rd set, and he raised his level of play again to win the next four points.

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