Miami | Medvedev denied No.1 spot as semi-finals are completed

Thursday was the day when Daniil Medvedev was scheduled to regain his place at the top of the world rankings but fate and Hubert Hurkacz decided the opposite with cramp and an unidentified illness collaborated with the Pole to deny the world No.2 from overtaking the absent current incumbent, Novak Djokovic.

I think the return was crucial. I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long, I have spent a lot of time in Florida, so I am used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favour today so I tried to use them. Hubert Hurkacz

Hurkacz, the defending Miami Open Masters champion and eighth seed at this year’s event, simply wore down the top-seeded Medvedev 7-6(7) 6-3 in the first of the two remaining quarter-finals played on Thursday.

“Every muscle just went ‘cramp, cramp, cramp, cramp,'” Medvedev said.

“All the match I was not feeling my best. But, you know, sometimes it happens,” the Muscovite added.

“I don’t know the actual reason. Maybe the heat. But I was feeling super, like, dizzy, tired, and there was this long game where I couldn’t serve anymore. Then in the locker room I was cramping quite much, so physically was not easy. But at the same time, that’s part of the game.

“For me, it was more important in a way just to win the match itself than to become No 1.

“Winning the match, I saw it more as a bonus.”

The pair have now met four times with them sharing two victories apiece while Hurkacz has improved his win-loss record for the season to 14-5 and his record in Miami to 12-1.

Hurkacz enjoys playing in Miami declaring: “Coming here is so much fun.”

The 25-yearold from Wroclaw, Poland, seems to love playing in the US and especially Florida where he has won his last 10 matches in Miami.

“I think the return was crucial. I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long,” Hurkacz said in his on-court interview. “It is good I was able to get some free points.

“I have spent a lot of time in Florida, so I am used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favour today so I tried to use them.”


Carlos Alcaraz reaches his second consecutive Masters semi-final

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The match of the day though goes to Carlos Alcacraz, the 18-year-old Spanish prodigy who brought to an end the unseeded Miomir Kecmanovic’s run by defeating the 22-year-old Serbian in a tight third set tie-break.

Alcaraz, seeded 14 recovered from 5-3 down in the final set breaker taking the last four points in an exhilarating fashion to reach the last four 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(5) to extend his exceptional record in final sets breakers to six wins from seven played!

In what proved a heavy weight contest between two players matching each other shot-for-shot, the outcome was always in doubt until that third set tie-break and Alcaraz strung together the final four shots from 4-5 down to clinch it.

“Miomir was playing unbelievable,” Alcaraz admitted later.

“I knew that I had to put a good level from my side. He had chances to win the match. I did a great shot at 5-4 in the third set, 15-30. It was really, really close.

“The energy of the crowd pushed me. It was unbelievable. Thanks to them, I was able to win the match.

“The rest of the match I’m trying to hit the ball hard to push the opponent off the baseline,” he added.

“The drop shot is good for me. I have confidence with that shot. In the tough moments you have to hit the best shots that you have.”

For Alcaraz the victory means he has reached his second straight Masters semi-final after Indian Wells, but remains 0-3 in hard court semi-final matches.

The first semi will be played in the afternoon session on Friday and will feature the sixth seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud against the unseeded Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina with the winner going on to a Masters final for the first time in their careers.

The second semi featuring Hurkacz and Alcaraz will provide the main attraction in the evening session.


Carlos Alacraz shakes hands with Miomir Kecmanovic following their tight quarter-final match

TPN/Getty Images



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