Daniil Medvedev gave one of his finest performances at Wimbledon to date, as he dug deep to come back against the spirited and dangerous Chris Eubanks to win their quarterfinal encounter in 5 sets. Eubanks had been the big story in the men’s draw, and had downed 2022 semifinalist Cam Norrie and world number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas before meeting Medvedev in the quarters. The American took a lead, but former world number one Medvedev played some sensational defensive tennis in the last two sets, refusing to miss as he came back to win 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1.
It will only get tougher for the Russian, as his semifinal opponent is set to be world number one and rising phenom Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard handled Holger Rune, and looks to be in good form as he seeks another final appearance in his young career. It promises to be an interesting encounter, with Medvedev’s defensive solidity up against Alcaraz’s speed and power.
It was the power aspect that Medvedev felt sets Alcaraz apart from other players. “I think the power [is most impressive]. When he was 17, which was actually not long ago, he was much less mature and younger, which is normal, he was missing. Everyone saw that he’s amazing, but everyone was wondering is he going to find the way to miss less producing the same power. And he did quite fast. That’s what’s pretty amazing,” said Medvedev in his press conference.
“If you give him one easy shot, you can be in trouble,” he continued. Alcaraz has already seen off Matteo Berrettini, the big-serving Italian who was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2021. As it happens, Medvedev and Alcaraz had their first encounter at that very tournament, with Medvedev beating the then-teenager in straight sets in the second round.
However, Alcaraz is a much-improved player, whose rise has been meteoric. An example of that lies in his victory over Medvedev at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this year, where the young Spaniard only dropped five games to his opponent in the final.
Medvedev commented on how he felt like he had a chance to get to the attacking shots played by some of the world’s best, but Alcaraz presented a different altogether with his power.
“With Novak [Djokovic] or Andy [Murray], even Rafa [Nadal], you kind of feel like you can have a chance to get this shot, but the thing is they’re going to have 20 more. With Carlos, maybe you’re not going to get this one. It’s one shot sometimes is brutal.”
The 20-year-old Spaniard isn’t just one of the most athletic players on tour, but matches that up with a mammoth forehand and the ability to nail groundstrokes while on the run. Medvedev will need to be at his best to stave off a player who can be irresistible at times.
“I think that’s what the most powerful in his game. That’s what I will have to try to deal with,” continued the Russian, who was optimistic about his chances if he performed to the level he put on show versus Eubanks.
“I 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.”
This encounter between the last two US Open champions promises to be a blockbuster event. Medvedev will need his serve to be powerful and accurate on the grass, allowing him to earn cheap points against his younger opponent. Alcaraz will meanwhile be hoping Medvedev doesn’t enter a mode where he refuses to make errors: the Russian only made 13 unforced errors across 5 sets against Eubanks, and entered a zone where any player would find it difficult to beat him.