November 17,m 2023 -TURIN, Italy (AP) — Carlos Alcaraz leaned back, looked up and yelled in celebration.
The Spaniard had just secured a spot in the semifinals of the APT Finals in his tournament debut, setting up a match against top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
“Vamos, vamos,” Spanish for “Come on, come on,” Alcaraz shouted as he clenched his fists after beating Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.
The 20-year-old Alcaraz, who missed last year’s tournament because of an abdominal injury, got off to a shaky start at the season-ending event for the year’s top eight players. He lost his opening match to two-time champion Alexander Zverev before getting back on track with a straight-set win over Andrey Rublev.
That left him needing to beat Medvedev, who had already qualified for the semifinals, to advance. The Russian didn’t make it easy.
Medvedev had two break points in the fourth game but Alcaraz came out on top of a 33-shot rally and then produced another big serve before going on to hold.
In the seventh game, Alcaraz broke Medvedev to love for the lead. He then held three set points but needed only one to take the opener with a powerful, cross-court backhand.
After wasting two break points in the third game of the second set, Alcaraz got the decisive break when Medvedev double-faulted to allow the Spaniard to serve for the match.
With Alcaraz advancing, the top four players in the world have qualified for the semifinals. Medvedev will face Jannik Sinner.
In the final group match later Friday, Zverev will play Rublev. Neither player can advance.