MIAMI – Daniel Medvedev says physical struggles have ruined any chances of regaining the world number one ranking after losing 6-7 (9/6), 6-3 to Poland’s Hubert Hurkaj at the Miami Open on Friday.
Medvedev slipped to second place after losing in the third round to Gael Monfils in Indian Wells last week, but lost to defending Miami Open champion Hurkaj to regain the top spot from Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.
Instead, Hurkaj, ranked 10th in the semifinals, advanced to the semifinals, beating current US Open champion and 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic at Hard Rock Stadium.
The 18-year-old Spanish sensation will now face Carlos Alcaraz in Sunday’s final, which is now 2-2 against the Russians after a stellar performance, in which he defeated 48th-ranked Serbian Miomi Kekmanovic in three sets. The best match of the tournament.
Medvedev said he sometimes had trouble breathing and cramped so badly in the locker room that he felt like “a fish on the sofa.”
“All matches, I was not feeling my best,” Medvedev said. “After the hard point I was struggling to catch my breath. I wasn’t recovering fast enough. You just have to fight but in the second set I felt weird.
“I don’t often feel that way but it does happen sometimes when it’s hot. Maybe it was hot but I was dizzy and tired and there was a game where I could no longer serve. I was cramping in the locker room. “
Medvedev called the medical instructors in the second set.
“The physio gave me something,” he said. “You never know. You hope it will be a magic thing but it doesn’t always work like this.”
‘Cramp, cramp, cramp’
Hurkaj played well, taking full advantage of Medvedev’s struggle, which lasted well after he left the court.
“Usually I would sit in the locker room for a while but then I start cramping,” he said. “I took a bath and felt a little better. This was good advice because I was sitting, really tired and every muscle started to cramp, cramp, cramp. I was like a fish on the sofa.
“It simply came to our notice then. I will wake up and probably stay well, but it will not be good if I get knocked out of the tournament. “
Medvedev was having problems throughout his service game – his first serve percentage was only 43% because he tried to stay 2-5 behind in the first set, but hopefully when he fell behind and was able to draw the level at 5-5. .
But he could not stop the tide because Hurkaj, whose serve was the core in the last four.
“I knew Hubert could play great tennis and winning the game was more important than being number one,” Medvedev said. “That would be a bonus.”
Hurkaj said his return to service was crucial.
“I was able to return a lot and get some free points in my survey because it’s fun to assemble with Daniel, but they are long,” Hurkaj said. “It’s good that I got some free points.”
If Hurkaj wins on Friday, he will be the first player to reach the men’s singles and doubles finals at the Miami Open the same year. He teamed up with John Isner after the match against Medvedev and gave another strong performance to help beat Australian Open champions Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokinakis in the last four of the men’s doubles.
Alcaraz, meanwhile, will undoubtedly test his Polish opponent to beat Kekmanvik 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to send the biggest crowd of this year’s tournament to the main court of Hard Rock. Joy Wild Stadium.
“It was a tough match,” said 16th-ranked Alcaraz, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open last September and lost to Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells semifinals.
“I have a lot of respect for him but that was the best environment for me to play.”
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