Carlos Alcaraz handed Daniil Medvedev his first lost sets of the week as the Spaniard secured the semi–finals of the ATP Finals in Turin on Friday 6-4, 6-4.
The 79-minute victory means that both men will represent the Red group on Saturday, with the night session between Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev being staged just to tidy up the final statistics.
Alcaraz will play for the finals at the year-end showpiece against Novak Djokovic, in a repeat of Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Cincinnati matches this season.
The 36-year-old Serb world No. 1 has claimed two of those meetings.
Alcaraz fulfilled expectations by reaching the weekend on his debut at the year-ender, going past Medvedev in 79 minutes with 20 winners.
He broke Medvedev in the opening set, winning seven points on the trot at 3-all; another break late in the second set sealed the win.
“The most important thing was to stay strong mentally,” the 20-year-old winner said. “I struggled with my serve in a few games, he puts a lot of pressure on the serve.
“But staying strong was the key to giving myself a chance to win.”
Alcaraz knows what he is faxing as he takes on Djokovic again.
“That is one of the most difficult challenges: playingNovak at the event he has won six times.
“But Novak is Novak – he’s the best in the world right now, he’s only lost six matches this year.
“He’s unbelievable; I’ll have to show my best tennis. But I will enjoy as I’ve done all week.”
The pair of weekend semi-finals at the Pala Alpitour will feature the top four players in the world, with Italian Yannik Sinner the obvious crowd favourite in the northern industrial capital.
Officials on Friday found space for another 300 bodies as they put the extra tickets on sale for the last two days of play.