World No.4 Daniil Medvedev secured his spot in the Australian Open finals after dominating Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.
And although it looked like Tsitsipas could stage another late comeback, akin to his dramatic five-set win over Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, Medvedev held his nerve to close out the match 6-4 6-2 7-5.Embed from Getty Images
“It was not easy, but I’m happy that I managed to turn my game on, especially in some tight moments on my serve, and I’m happy to be in the final,” Medvedev said after the match.
“We saw the match with Rafa was kind of the same score in the first two sets third set Rafa was dominating but didn’t manage to win the match. So I got a little bit scared, I should say and tired because it’s the semifinal of a slam.”
Smashing 17 Aces while winning 88% of his first service points, Medvedev’s serve was almost flawless tonight, and Tsitsipas struggled to cope with his powerful deliveries from the off.Embed from Getty Images
The world No.4 took an early lead, serving out the opening game of the match before striking a clever backhand line shot past Tsitsipas to win the opening break of the game.
And easing into control, the Russian fended off multiple attacks from Tsitsipas, who couldn’t find an in on Medvedev’s serve.
But with a rapturous crowd behind him, the Greek wasn’t going to let Medvedev run away with the opening set, forcing him to fight for three match points before the Russian upped the tempo and smacked two Aces down the centre of the court to go 1-0 up.
After a short break in play, Medvedev returned to attack once again in the second set, ruthlessly looking to capitalise on a fatigued Tsitsipas, to strike two breakpoints past the Greek to claim the second set of the match.Embed from Getty Images
“I think yeah, for sure he [Tsitsipas] was tired after the match with Rafa… But during today’s match, as soon as I saw I was moving him around the court, it was not easy for him, so as soon as I saw it in the first set, that became my strategy straight away.”
However, just as Medvedev looked to take control in the third set, Tsitsipas rallied. With a roaring crowd behind him, the Greek bounced back from going three games down to win a flurry of points and his first break of the match.
Sweeping some delightful backhand slices past his opponent, Tsitsipas levelled the scores at 3-3 and looked like he could stage another 2-set comeback against a nervous-looking Daniil Medvedev.
“To be honest, I was in control of the match, just till 3-2 in the second set where the crowd helped him to get back into the match, I made some errors [and] made one double fault, so it was definitely not a good game from me,” said Medvedev.
“The only chance I had was to make a big serve and I made an Ace so that’s how I stayed in the match.”
Tsitsipas continued to press, winning another breakpoint chance, but he couldn’t convert against a lightning service from Medvedev, who hit consecutive Aces to get himself out of trouble.
From there, Medvedev kept his composure to break the world No.6 again to go 6-5 and served out the remainder of the match to book his spot in the finals.Embed from Getty Images
“I’m happy to manage to keep my nerves, you know, because still, I didn’t make so many bad choices except for the game I got broken with a double fault and some easy forehand mistakes. So happy that I managed to keep my composure.”
This will be Daniil Medvedev’s 20th consecutive win in four tournaments, with 11 of those wins coming against top ten players.
He’ll now advance to play world No.1 Novak Djokovic to challenge for his first grand slam title.Embed from Getty Images
And the Russian said he wasn’t feeling the pressure just yet.
“First of all, I feel like I don’t have a lot of pressure because he’s never lost in 8 times that he was here in the final, so it’s him who has all the pressure, you know, getting to Roger or Rafa in the grand slams.”
“I just hope that I’m going to get out there, show my best tennis as we can see I can win [against] some big names if I play good, so that’s the main part and after he has for sure more experience but more things to lose than me.”
“In two days, I’m playing against someone who never lost a final or a semifinal here; definitely some good tactics and good backhands won’t work, so I’ll need to do something more.”
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