It’s not very often that the four favorites of a major tournament all reach the semifinal stage. This is especially true at an event such as the ATP Finals. But in 2023, the top four are indeed set to play.
Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and Daniil Medvedev have all booked the last four spots. Only one player, Sinner, is unbeaten through the entire tournament so far.
I’m going to take a deep dive into both of these matches to see who I believe will come through these marquee matches.
What will happen in the ATP Finals semifinals?
Novak Djokovic versus Carlos Alcaraz
The first blockbuster meeting of the semifinals I’m going to look at is between the two best players in the world this season. This will be their 5th meeting and the head-to-head is currently tied 2-2.
Alcaraz is 1-2 against the World No. 1 this season, but that one was an epic in the Wimbledon final. It was a match that solidified his status as one of the two best players in the world without question. They later played another epic at the Cincinnati Masters which Nole took. Both players faced their own challenges in the Group stage as Alcaraz was defeated by Alexander Zverev and Djokovic was pushed by the likes of Holger Rune.
As for this match, I lean towards Djokovic being the slight favorite as indoor conditions suit his game better than the heavy topspin approach of the sensational Spaniard.
Alcaraz, who is one of the most creative players on tour, might see some of his nuanced shots (Especially his drop-shot) take a minor downgrade in these conditions. Now, both players have shown vulnerabilities this week so I don’t think either guy is at their top form.
However, if pressed to decide which one can flip the switch I’d go with Djokovic. His sense of urgency must be tenfold in comparison to his younger rival.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic wins in 3 sets
Jannik Sinner versus Daniil Medvedev
I had Sinner as my No. 2 contender before the tournament began and he has done nothing to dissuade me from that viewpoint. The young Italian has looked very good in the group stage and he is playing some of the best tennis of his life right now. He will face a monstrous challenge in his ATP Finals semifinal match with Medvedev.
The lanky Russian has lost two straight Championship matches to Sinner at the China Open and Erste Open respectively. This should give Sinner incredible confidence heading into this showdown. He is one of the few players on tour who has the firepower that can overpower the defensive-minded Medvedev.
The improvement in his serve has also given Sinner a whole new dimension to his game with the ability to win cheap points to save his underrated movement for the key points.
This is not to say that Sinner will coast to victory. He did lose his first 6 meetings with Medvedev so it won’t be a cakewalk. Daniil has the ability to hone in on a player’s sole weakness and amplify it to maddening levels. He won’t be happy with just an ATP Finals semifinal appearance.
This will be a unique clash of an offensive-minded big-hitter (Sinner) with the conservative defensive wall (Medvedev).
Prediction: Jannik Sinner wins in two tight sets