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Last two US Open champs Alcaraz, Medvedev set to face off in semifinals in New York

On Wednesday, 2021 US Open Champion and 3rd-seed Daniil Medvedev outplayed his compatriot Andrey Rublev, finishing with a straight-sets win of 6-4; 6-3; 6-4

NEW YORK, September 7. /TASS/. World No.1 tennis player Carlos Alcaraz of Spain is confident that he will defeat Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals of the 2023 US Open, which concludes in New York on September 10, according to the official website of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

On late Wednesday night, last year’s US Open Champion and top-seed Alcaraz outplayed top-ranked German player Alexander Zverev, finishing with a straight-sets win of 6-3; 6-2; 6-4. Earlier in the day, it took 3rd-seed Daniil Medvedev two hours and 48 minutes to record a 6-4; 6-3; 6-4 straight sets win over his compatriot Andrey Rublev.

"I’m very, very comfortable playing in this court, playing here in New York. I am showing my best level here," the ATP quoted Alcaraz as saying after his match with Zverev.

The winner of the 2022 US Open continued by saying: "Last year was very tough, since the fourth round I played five sets [to get to the final]," adding that this year "I’ve played just one match that has gone to four sets."

"I feel great physically and I’m ready to play a great battle with Medvedev in the semifinals," the 20-year-old Spaniard said speaking about his upcoming semifinals encounter with 2021 US Open champion Medvedev.

The quarterfinals clash between Medvedev and Rublev was played in the afternoon on September 6 in hot and humid conditions, as the temperature read 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) at the start of the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

"It was brutal. The only good thing I see in these conditions is that both suffer," Medvedev was quoted by the ATP as saying to the press after the match with World No. 8 Rublev. "It was tough for both of us. There were some ups and downs but that is so normal. At the end of the first set I sort of could not see the ball anymore. I played with sensations."

Speaking about the match with Rublev, Medvedev commented to the press: "I know he never gives up, but he knows I never give up."

Medvedev, 27, is currently third in the ATP Rankings List. In 2022, the Russian was the number one ranked tennis player in the world for 16 weeks. He is the 2021 US Open Champion and has 20 ATP tournament titles under his belt. He has won five of those 20 titles this year. Also, in 2021, he won the Davis Cup as well as the ATP Cup playing for the Russian national team.

According to ATP official statistics "Medvedev has earned a tour-leading 37 hard-court wins this season, lifting four trophies on the surface."

The tour's current top player, the 20-year-old Alcaraz is the winner of 12 ATP tournaments, with six of those wins coming this year. The Spaniard has also won two Grand Slams, this year's Wimbledon and the 2022 US Open.

Following his victory at the US Open last year, Alcaraz became the youngest athlete as well as the first teenager in the Open Era (since 1968) to top the men's singles rankings at the tender age of 19 years, 4 months, and 6 days.

In the other semifinal at Flushing Meadows, Novak Djokovic of Serbia and 20-year-old rising American star Ben Shelton will compete for a spot in this year's final.

Tennis legend Djokovic reached the semifinals breezing past Taylor Fritz of the United States in the quarterfinals in straight sets, 6-1; 6-4; 6-4, while the US' Shelton managed to sweat out a 6-2; 3-6; 7-6 (9-7); 6-2 victory over fellow American Francis Tiafoe, who is currently ranked 10th in the ATP Rankings.

Djokovic, 36, is the all-time leader in the number of weeks atop the ATP Rankings at 389 weeks, beating the record previously held by German tennis player Steffi Graf, who was number one in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Rankings for a total of 377 weeks.

The 2023 US Open is being held on outdoor hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York between August 28 and September 10. The tournament has $65 million in prize money up for grabs. Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz and Poland’s Iga Swiatek are the tournament's defending champions in men’s and women's singles, respectively.

Tennis players from Russia and Belarus are participating at this year's US Open under a neutral status due to the current sanctions regime.

Russian players’ neutral status at tennis tournaments

On February 28, 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February 2022, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) ruled on March 1, 2022 to suspend the membership of the Russian and Belarusian national tennis federations while also cancelling all previously scheduled tennis tournaments in the two countries.

On March 14, 2022, the ITF also confirmed its prohibition on the Russian and Belarusian national tennis teams from taking part in the 2022 Davis Cup and 2022 Billie Jean King Cup.

However, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) allowed tennis players from Russia and Belarus to continue participating in WTA and ATP tournaments, but only under a neutral status.