On Friday, Carlos Alcaraz will take on Daniil Medvedev at the Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev has already booked his spot in the semifinals with straight-set wins over Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev. The match won't mean everything to him—but it will for Alcaraz, who can join Medvedev in the final four with a win. I already liked the Spaniard in this matchup, and considering the stakes involved, I’m playing Alcaraz to win outright.
Medvedev was able to beat Alcaraz at the US Open, but the Russian did that by digging in and grinding for every point. He's one of the fittest players on tour, is a world-class defender and he tracked down everything that Alcaraz threw at him. Will Medvedev he willing to do that here? A player like Medvedev would benefit from having a full tank in the semifinals, as he’ll need to play his high-level defense in order to have a shot at winning this event. I’m not suggesting the Russian won’t try to win, but I do think he’ll look to end points quicker and try to preserve his legs. And that’s not what Medvedev does best.