Daniil Medvedev advances to debut Australian Open final with dominant win over Stefanos Tsitsipas
The 25-year-old Russian leaned on his powerful serve and precise forehand in his 6-4 6-2 7-5 win on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.
After an early break in the first set, Medvedev asserted his dominance over his Greek counterpart on the way to his debut Australian Open final appearance.
“It is the semifinal of a Slam … It was not easy, but I am happy I managed to switch my game on, especially in some tight moments on my serve and I am really happy to be in the final.”
In control throughout
With fans back in the stands, and many cheering for Tsitsipas, a showdown between the most in-form player in men’s tennis and the young Greek superstar looked a mouthwatering affair.
Both men had reached the semifinal with big wins under their belts — Medvedev dominating his compatriot and friend Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinal while Tsitsipas produced a remarkable comeback to beat 20-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal.
Both Medvedev and Tsitsipas showed power and precision in their early games, holding serve. However midway through the first set, Medvedev managed to break his Greek opponent in the fifth game.
With a combination of his dominant serve and raw power, the Russian managed to close out the opening set with a big ace and take an early lead as he aimed to reach his second career grand slam final — at the 2019 US Open final, Medvedev was beaten by Rafa Nadal in five sets.
The Russian broke Tsitsipas early in the second set and in the following drinks break, the 22-year-old slammed his open water bottle on the floor causing water to spill on the court to the annoyance of Medvedev.
World No. 4 Medvedev continued to look the stronger and more unflappable of the two, breaking Tsitsipas to love and then producing a dominant service game to race into a two-set lead.
The third set began in a similar vein, with Medvedev extending rallies and producing winners to break Tsitsipas in the first game.
However, Tsitsipas displayed the grit and resolve he’d shown against Nadal in the previous round, breaking back to level the scores in the third set.
Despite it looking like Tsitsipas might put together a run of breaks, it was Medvedev who secured the decisive break to allow him to serve for the match.
The red-hot Medvedev will now face 17-time grand slam winner Djokovic in Sunday’s final after he eased past grand slam debutant Karatsev in the semifinal on Thursday.
“I like that I don’t have a lot of pressure, because he never lost in the eight times that he was here in the final,” said Medvedev.
“It is he who has all the pressure, getting to Roger and Rafa in the Grand Slam [leaderboard]. I just hope that I am going to get out there and show my best tennis. As we have seen, I can beat some big names if I play good so that is the main part. He has more experience, but he has more things to lose than me.”
The 31-year-old Serbian is looking to draw closer to Roger Federer and Nadal’s record of 20 grand slam titles.