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Carlos Alcaraz set up a tasty ATP Finals clash with arch-rival Novak Djokovic by defeating Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.
Having lost his opening match to Alexander Zverev, Alcaraz knew only victory over previously unbeaten Medvedev would be enough to qualify for the semi-finals.
He achieved the feat in style, wrapping up a 6-4 6-4 victory to join the Russian in the last four on his debut in Turin.
Alcaraz’s superior sets record means he tops the group and will face Djokovic in a rematch of their unforgettable Wimbledon final, while Medvedev meets fourth seed Jannik Sinner, the only player yet to lose a match, in the other semi-final.
Medvedev had already qualified for the last four but there was still plenty on the line in terms of prize money and ranking points, and ultimately he could not match the all-round quality of Alcaraz, who roared with delight when he clinched victory.
“The most important thing that I did today is to stay strong mentally,” he told Amazon Prime Video.
“There were a few games with my serve that I was struggling a little bit, his return game is amazing and he puts so much pressure on you. I think to stay calm, to stay strong mentally in those moments was the key.”
This will be a fourth meeting of the season between Alcaraz and Djokovic, with the young Spaniard claiming the Wimbledon crown but losing out at the French Open and in Cincinnati in August.
“It’s one of the most difficult challenges that I’m going to face, facing Novak in this tournament that he has won six times,” said Alcaraz.
“Obviously Novak is Novak, he’s the best player in the world right now. I’m going to put my best tennis (out there) and I’m going to enjoy it. I’m excited.”