Daniil Medvedev’s summer of success just got better today in Cincinnati. The 23-year-old collected his second straight win over Novak Djokovic beating the World No. 1 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Djokovic was in control and well on his was to his 50th Masters final, leading by a set and had Medvedev serving 3-all, 0-30 in the second when things changed.
Djokovic had been abusing Medvedev’s second serve, so down that big, the Russian decided to just go for two first serves at that stage and see what happened. And what happened was Djokovic couldn’t find the mark on return, and Medvedev scrapped a break and stole the set.
In the third, he got a quick break and then rode his serve, breaking Djokovic again for his best career win.
“To be honest, I don’t know how I did it,” Medvedev told Brad Gilbert of ESPN on court. “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.”
Djokovic had won his last 10 matches.
“I thought I played really good match,” said Djokovic. “Maybe in the third set when I was broken at 1-all I could have done a little bit better, but when someone serves a 128 miles-per-hour second serve and doesn’t make too many doubles faults and goes for every shot, you just have to put your hat down and congratulate him.
“He played amazing tennis from 4-3 in the second set. Not much that I could really do. I tried to return his serve. And when I had my racquet on the ball I was returning his serves, but you can’t really predict someone or prepare yourself for someone serving that big a second serve consistently. He definitely has a lot of confidence. When you have so much confidence, then obviously you allow yourself to go for these kind of shots. I congratulate him. He deserved to win the match.”
Medvedev reaches his third straight final and is now 13-2 this summer. He’ll go for his 5th title, 2nd of the season, against another surprise finalist David Goffin.
The 28-year-old Goffin became the first Belgian in a Masters final after ending the run of Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4. Goffin was almost perfect in the first against the lead-footed Gasquet.
“I’m really happy,” said Goffin. “It’s a tournament I like and I’ve played the best tennis here in the past few years. I’m really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”
After groin surgery in January, it was still an excellent week for Gasquet.
“It was tougher for me, but I tried my best against him,” said Gasquet. “When he plays 100 per cent, it’s tough. But as I said, he’s a very good player and he’s very fast and powerful. He was just better today. I just need to recover a little bit now, but I’m feeling great and I can take positives from this.”
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