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Medvedev stuns Djokovic to reach back-to-back Masters 1000 finals

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 18 Aug 2019
  • Medvedev secured his second win over Djokovic this season in Cincinnati
  • The Russian is into his third straight final and second consecutive Masters 1000 title match
Novak Djokovic congratulates Daniil Medvedev (PA Images)

Daniil Medvedev says he ‘needs to win’ after stunning Novak Djokovic and advancing into this third consecutive final of the U.S. Open Series in Cincinnati on Saturday.

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World No. 9 Medvedev has lit up the North American summer ahead of the final Grand Slam of the season at the U.S. Open, with the Russian reaching the Washington D.C. and Canada Masters finals over the last fortnight, finishing runner-up to Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal respectively.

Medvedev has continued his momentum into the Cincinnati Masters this week, conquering the likes of Kyle Edmund, Benoit Paire, Jan-Lennard Struff and Andrey Rublev in straight sets before his come-from-behind victory over World No. 1 Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Daniil Medvedev (PA Images)
The 23-year-old appeared on the brink of defeat as he went down 3-6, 2-3 and 30-40, with Medvedev also consulting the trainer for a bicep problem - perhaps suffering from playing 17 matches in the last 19 matches.

However, Medvedev decided to play some Russian roulette with Djokovic, consistently going after his second serve in order to avoid extended baseline rallies with the defending champion. The feast or famine tactics paid dividends as Medvedev’s first-strike tennis caused Djokovic all sorts of problems, and out of nowhere, the eighth seed seized control of the match, winning 10 of the last 13 games to secure a famous 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

It was Medvedev’s second win over Djokovic this season after he also emerged triumphant in the Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-finals, while it was also the first time the Serbian had lost a semi-final in a Masters 1000 event after winning the first set since 2013.

"To be honest, I don't know how I did it," Medvedev told Brad Gilbert courtside after the match. "I was so tired in the first set and playing Novak I thought I wasn't able to keep the intensity. Then, the one momentum change in the second set was the difference. The crowd gave me so much energy.
"Usually I'll go bigger on my second serve when it's not working and Novak was just destroying me in the first set. At one moment, I said to myself why do a normal second serve if I'm going to lose the point. I started to win much more after that."

Daniil Medvedev signs autographs after his win over Novak Djokovic (PA Images)
Medvedev has won the most matches out of anyone on tour in 2019, with his victory over Djokovic adding to an impressive 43-16 record. 

Medvedev also led the tour for hardcourt wins last year and will be aiming to capture his maiden Masters 1000 title on Sunday when he faces first-time Masters finalist David Goffin in the final. Goffin beat Richard Gasquet in the first semi-final in straight sets earlier on Saturday.

After winning just three games in a 3-6 0-6 defeat to Nadal in last week’s Canada Masters final (and also falling in straight sets to Kyrgios in Washington the previous week), Medvedev is determined to get his hands on the trophy on Sunday.

"I need to win (smiling)," said Medvedev. "No, actually, my mentality is always I take every match the same, from the first round, because I always say if you lose in the first round you won't be in the final, so why to take it different?
"Talking about the final against Rafa, it was a tough one. I would say actually I don't have any regrets. I mean, if it would be 7-6 in the third, then I would be sitting here, saying I had my chances. I had zero chances.
"Against Nick, I had my chances. I didn't use them. I'm going to go out there tomorrow and be ready to fight, be consistent, and hopefully I can be the winner."

Medvedev vs Goffin is live from Cincinnati at 4.00pm local time on Sunday (9.00pm BST). Click here to real a full preview of the final.


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Medvedev stuns Djokovic to reach back-to-back Masters 1000 finals

Daniil Medvedev says he ‘needs to win’ after stunning Novak Djokovic and advancing into this third consecutive final of the U.S. Open Series in Cincinnati on Saturday.

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