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US Open: Medvedev's hot-streak continues into first Grand Slam final - 'I didn't know it would be this good'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 7 Sep 2019
  • Medvedev beats Dimitrov in straight sets to make first major final
  • The 23-year-old has won 20 of his last 22 matches
  • He's the youngest US Open finalist since Djokovic in 2010
Daniil Medvedev (PA Images)

Daniil Medvedev won a tour-leading 50th match of the season to advance into a first Grand Slam final on Friday as he moved past Grigor Dimitrov at the U.S. Open.

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Despite an energy-sapping summer and gruelling U.S. Open fortnight, Medvedev was able to rise to the occasion in the semi-finals and register his second-most convincing win of the last two weeks, conquering Dimitrov by a 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3 scoreline to make his maiden major final.

The Russian was on the back foot for the majority of the opening set, but once Medvedev managed to edge it in a tiebreak - much like he did against Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals - he kept his foot on the pedal and Dimitrov didn’t look like working his way back into the match.

Medvedev completed the victory in two hours and 38 minutes, and although he finished the match with less-than-ideal stats, including 40 unforced errors and eight double faults, it was the manner in which he was able to gradually grind Dimitrov down that was most impressive.

"It's really tough mentally. That's what I've been missing before. Before, my best Slam result was fourth round. I felt like it's just so tough to win a five-set match. I knew I was going the right way, I just had to fight for every set, for every point. Didn't work out before," Medvedev said. "But here, this week, everything has worked out. I won a lot of four-set matches, which shows how great mentally I was here, and physically, also." 

Medvedev has now won 20 out of 22 matches over the last 39 days of the North American summer, finishing runner-up in Washington and the Canada Masters, along with beating Novak Djokovic on the way to his maiden Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

Daniil Medvedev (PA Images)
After a straight sets win over Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the opening round, Medvedev toiled away in four consecutive four-setters over Hugo Dellien, Feliciano Lopez, Dominik Koepfer and Wawrinka, before claiming his straight sets win over Dimitrov on Friday.

Medvedev was involved in various controversial incidents in those matches, mostly against Lopez in the third round when he aggressively snatched a towel away from a ball person and made an offensive gesture to the crowd - behaviour that cost him $19,000 in fines.


However, Medvedev has changed his tune in recent matches, accepting he was in the wrong and gaining a bit (but still not much!) of crowd admiration.

"When I came to the USA I didn't know that it would be this good," said Medvedev. “I have to say I love [the] USA."

Medvedev joins illustrious company by virtue of his win over Dimitrov, with Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi the only other men in history to have made the Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and U.S. Open finals in the same season during the Open Era (since 1968).

The 23-year-old is also the youngest U.S. Open finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 and if he wins, would be he youngest champion since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.

Ranked No. 68 in August last year, Medvedev has put together a stunning rise courtesy of his phenomenal 2019, and will end the U.S. Open at No. 4 in the world, regardless of Sunday’s result.

"I understand that what I've done these four weeks is amazing, even comparing to what I've done before," Medvedev said. "I don't want to stop. I will always work to be better. I will try to do my best every day."

Medvedev will face Rafael Nadal for the U.S. Open title on Sunday after the Spaniard beat Matteo Berrettini in straight sets in the second semi-final.


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US Open: Medvedev's hot-streak continues into first Grand Slam final - "I didn't know it would be this good"

Daniil Medvedev won a tour-leading 50th match of the season to advance into a first Grand Slam final on Friday as he moved past Grigor Dimitrov at the U.S. Open.

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