It was unstoppable force versus immovable object on Friday night in Flushing Meadows, as defending champion Carlos Alcaraz ran up against a rock-solid Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semifinals.

In contrast to their previous two matches—both of which the Spaniard won in straight sets—Medvedev kept his opponent in check as he claimed an emphatic 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory to return to the final in Queens. The No. 3 seed takes on Novak Djokovic once again in a Grand Slam final—Djokovic is seeking his 23rd major title, and Medvedev his second.


Alcaraz finishes at 17-2 in major matches this season (he missed the Australian Open due to injury).

Alcaraz finishes at 17-2 in major matches this season (he missed the Australian Open due to injury).

For Alcaraz, it’s back to the drawing board. As his ranking drops back down to world No. 2 on Monday, Alcaraz told press that he plans to spend time after the match “learning about it”—and maybe even making a few changes to his tactics going forward:

Q. Do you feel you might want to make a more ‘aceable’ serve in a match like this?

CARLOS ALCARAZ: Well, he's one of the best returners on the tour. That obviously is amazing how he can return from the back of the court really deep and really powerful. He's amazing.

And when I do serve and volley, he always finds the passing shot… from his house! (laughter) In some ways amazing.

Obviously I have to find the right serve every time, and I have to serve better to be able to stay in a good position after the serve. So I will do it in the next game.


Already looking ahead to the rest of the season, Alcaraz also assured press that he won’t dwell on the defeat for too long: “I don't think I'm gonna think about this loss for a long time,” he admitted. “Of course, I have to learn about it. I want to be better. These kinds of matches help you a lot to be better and grow up in these kind of situations.

“But I have to talk with my team, with Juan Carlos, and how I can be better—but days, weeks, but not much longer than that.”

Top seed Alcaraz departs the US Open with a 58-7 record on the season, and will enjoy a few weeks to study and recharge before gearing up for the Asian swing. He is next scheduled to compete at the ATP 500 level event in Beijing, which starts on September 28, and is the top seed at the ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai, which begins October 4.