Tennis

ATP Miami: Daniil Medvedev tops Karen Khachanov. Is Carlos Alcaraz next?

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Daniil Medvedev is through to his fifth consecutive ATP final in Miami! An in-form Russian took down his compatriot Karen Khachanov 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes in the semi-final. Daniil prevailed in the opener and started all over in the decider to emerge at the top and set the title clash against Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner. Medvedev hit 13 aces and six double faults. He struggled on the second serve more than Khachanov and faced six break points. Daniil defended four and grabbed two breaks in the pivotal moments to emerge at the top and remain on the title course. Karen won five points more than his good friend but not the crucial ones, suffering a single break in the final set to settle with the semi-final run. Medvedev fired 32 service winners, and they both had around 30 winners and unforced errors from the field. Khachanov had a slight edge in the most advanced rallies, insufficient to bring him victory. Daniil made a slow start and hit a double fault to experience a break chance in the encounter’s first game.

Daniil Medvedev ousted Karen Khachanov in three sets in the Miami semi-final.

He denied them and held to avoid an early setback. Both players served well in the following six games, and the better-ranked rival held with a smash winner at the net for 4-3. After three perfect holds, Khachanov faced issues behind the initial shot in game eight. Medvedev seized the second break point to forge the advantage and open a 5-3 gap. Daniil created a set point with a forehand crosscourt winner in game nine and squandered it after a double fault. Khachanov clinched the second break point after Medvedev’s loose forehand to pull the break back and extend the set. It went into a tie break, and Daniil created two set points at 5-4 after Karen’s terrible forehand. Medvedev seized the second to wrap up the set in 61 minutes and gain a boost. Karen served well in the second set and controlled the pace with an early break. Daniil sprayed a forehand error in the second game to lose serve at 15 and fall 2-0 behind. Khachanov saved a break point in the fifth game with a massive forehand and landed an ace at 4-2 for a hold at love.

Karen forced Daniil’s error in the ninth game for a hold at love, taking the set 6-3 and forcing a decider after an hour and 41 minutes. With a boost on his side, Khachanov earned a break chance in the first game with a smash winner that could have pushed him ahead. He missed it with a loose forehand and wasted his last opportunity on the return. Medvedev barely lost a point behind the initial shot and kept the pressure on the other side. The better-ranked player broke at 15 in the fourth game to forge a 3-1 advantage and take a big step toward the finish line. Medvedev clinched the fifth game from 15-30 with an ace and landed another two games later for a hold at love and 5-2. Karen grabbed the eighth game at love to prolong the duel, and Daniil emerged at the top after an entertaining point in the next one for a place in the title clash. 

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