US Open 2023: And Medvedev raised the wall (again) | Tennis | Sports


The New York tournament has reached its final round and, as has been usual this year, Novak Djokovic aspires not only to lift the trophy, but also to extend his current world record in number of Grand Slams. The Serbian player has entered this last episode after beating a young rival, the American Ben Shelton, in a comfortable match; number 47 of ranking of the ATP, one of the promises of current tennis and, evidently, a tennis player still somewhat inexperienced to face a match of these characteristics with guarantees.

The new player has only 15 victories on the professional circuit and, therefore, what happened was predictable: that Novak easily eliminated him in three sets. Shelton, owner of a very powerful serve and aware that his limited chances of victory were dependent on being very successful with the serve and offering a very aggressive game, came out with the rather suicidal tactic of trying not to encourage exchanges from the back of the court . He failed to sufficiently appreciate that in front of him he had the best returner in the world and the most solid player on the current circuit.

To the disappointment of Spanish fans, this time the other contender will not be Carlos Alcaraz. Daniil Medvedev has prevented the final that was not only expected, but widely predicted. In a good four-set match, the Russian defeated the Spanish player, who started the match giving the impression that he had victory closer than his rival. After some first games in which it seemed that a break would tip the balance in his favor, the game and the situation became equal. After a close second half of the set they reached the tiebreaker and Carlos was not right; He made more errors than usual and the Russian won by a tight 7-6 (3).

The transfer of this first set took its toll on our player, who, affected, also gave up the second by a clear 6-1. The match became very difficult for him and we began to glimpse the unwanted outcome. But, showing once again his combative character, he recovered and managed to score the third round and revive our hopes that victory was still possible. Our optimism lasted as long as it took Daniil to score the break which he knew how to maintain until the end of the game, thus achieving his place in the great outcome of this Sunday.

Carlos was forced to change his strategy a bit due to the very backward position in which Medvedev plays. The tennis players on the circuit know that from the back of the court it is very difficult to overtake it. I think that, correctly, he chose to go up to the net on a higher percentage of occasions and achieved great effectiveness with it: he scored 54 points out of the 70 times he did so. However, it took its toll on him to be less successful in the deep exchanges, where he was less aggressive and made the occasional unexpected mistake.

He was also somewhat less effective on serve. He was inclined to seek a higher percentage of first serves. Proof of this is that no ace throughout the game, something unusual for him. To this we must add that he was not successful either in the decisive moments of the match: both in the tie break of the first set as in most of the break points available to him. Of the nine he only managed to score one. In this regard, his adversary was much more effective. He scored three of seven. On many occasions, small details tip the balance towards one side or the other. And on this occasion, they were on the Russian’s side.

A real shame.

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