WATCH: Highlights from Medvedev's IW semis win over Tiafoe

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev and Alcaraz have played just once, at Wimbledon in 2021, and Medvedev won a quick and mostly forgettable straight-setter. Since then, though, things have changed, for the better, for both men.

Two months later, Medvedev won his first and so far only major at the US Open, and rose to No. 1 in the world. A year after that, Alcaraz did the same, also winning his first and so far only major at the US Open, and rising to No. 1.

So as Medvedev says, these two will essentially be starting from scratch on Sunday.

“Our match for sure counts in the head to head,” Medvedev said of their Wimbledon meeting, “…but he was definitely not the same player as he is right now.

“So in a way, it’s going to be like a first match between us in terms of how we gonna go tactically or physically or tennis-wise.”

Tennis fans have been waiting for Alcaraz-Medvedev II, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Alcaraz is trying to reclaim the No. 1 ranking, and he has been as electrifying as ever this week. Medvedev, meanwhile, is on a 19-match, three-tournament win streak, and has been the talk of the tour since the Australian Open.


Much, so much, has changed since these two dueled for the first time.

Much, so much, has changed since these two dueled for the first time.

They also make for a fascinating contrast. Alcaraz is the pure, explosive athlete, seemingly running faster and hitting harder than anyone ever has before. Medvedev is the long, lean, steady, smart competitor, who has funky swings but who hits with precision from the baseline, and has a bomb serve to back it up.

Medvedev says the slow court will favor Alcaraz, which is probably true, since the Russian hates it so much. Other than that, we don’t know how their games with mesh and clash. How will Alcaraz deal with Medvedev’s deep court positioning, relentless consistency, and low-bouncing backhand? The Spaniard can be goaded into going for too much, and he always has highs and lows over the course of a match.

For Medvedev’s part, will he be able to stay in his safe baseline groove against Alcaraz’s rhythm-obliterating pace? He has been knocked around by bigger hitters before.

Both guys look fairly unbeatable at the moment. But maybe, possibly, four tournaments in a row is one win too far for Medvedev.

Winner: Alcaraz