Medvedev Blows Past Tsitsipas To Reach First Australian Open Final
by Staff | February 19th, 2021, 1:57 pm
  • 8 Comments

Daniil Medvedev kept his win streak alive Friday night in Melbourne blowing past rival Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in just over two hours to reach his first Australian Open final, and his second Slam title match.

“He was tired after the match with Rafa,” said Medvedev. “During today’s match, I saw that as soon as I was moving him around the court, it was not easy for him.

“As soon as I saw that in the first set, that became my strategy straight away.”

The 25-year-old Russian dominated the Greek for the first 90 minutes until Tsitsipas overcame a break hole in the third to give the pro-Tsitsipas crowd a reason to cheer.

Medvedev’s defense, court speed and serve were just too much for Tsitsipas early on. The Russian was enjoying easy holds game after game.

In the third, Medvedev complained to the chair umpire that Tsitsipas’s father was talking too loud, and that may he lit a fire in Stefanos. Medvedev saw a 3-1 lead evaporate as Tsitsipas ran off three of the next four games thanks to some strong net play.

Losing the momentum and serving 4-5, 0-30, Medvedev settled down and rolled off 12 of the last 14 points for the win.

“It was definitely not easy, because we saw the match with Rafa was kind of the same score after two sets. The third set, Rafa was dominating but didn’t manage to win the match, so I got a little bit scared and tight,” said Medvedev. “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.”

Medvedev has now won his last 20 matches and 12 straight against Top 10 players. He hasn’t lost since October 30th in Vienna to Kevin Anderson.

”When you beat everybody, is just great, because I think people start maybe to be a little bit scared,” said Medvedev. “At the same time, sometimes there are going to be some that are going to want to beat you even more. It’s a tricky situation, but I’m happy I managed to be on top in all those 20 matches.”

Tsitsipas, who had toughed out Rafael Nadal 48 hours earlier in a five sets, said he was dealing with physical issues at the end.

“[He] has unlocked pretty much everything in the game,” said Tsitsipas of Medvedev. “It’s like he’s reading the game really well. He has this amazing serve which I would describe close to John Isner’s serve. And then he has amazing baseline which makes it extremely difficult.

“Even if you return the serve, you don’t guarantee that you’re going to win the point. You have to really work hard for it,” he added. “He makes it very difficult, and I’m sure all the hard work that he has been putting, and the hours on the court have benefited a lot. He tricks you. He plays the game really smart. It’s really interesting to see that.”

Up next for Medvedev in his second Slam final will be Novak Djokovic who has his own streak. The Serb is a perfect 8-0 when he reaches the Australian Open final.

”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. 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.”

Djokovic leads their head-to-head 4-3 but Medvedev has won three of their last four.


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8 Comments for Medvedev Blows Past Tsitsipas To Reach First Australian Open Final

John Smith Says:

Sean’s Sunday pick is going to be a defining moment! We are at the inflection point of the end of the big 4 era of slam wins.

Does Sean still believe that the big 4 is continuously going to win slams in 2021? Or is he going to predict for the first time that a big 4 isn’t going to win a slam?

If Medvedev wins, it will be hard to believe that a big 4 will win another slam ever.

I’m 99% sure ;-) that Sean is going to pick Djokovic in 5. If one picks Medvedev, it’s the signal that the big 4 is over. My pick: Medvedev in 5.

PS: Even Serena can’t win any more. Naomi was too good for her and Serena broke into tears during the press conference because she realized that she isn’t going to beat Margaret Court’s record. That’s exactly the same situation. The pandemic was the end of the era.


chofer Says:

The “big 4” has turned into the b3 since Murray had that surgery. And I don’t think they’re going away that easily.
I understand the need to see some fresh faces lifting the Slams hardware (sorry, I don’t thinhk Thiem, 27 to 28, belongs in that group; he’s contemporary of Dimitrov much more than he is of, say, Zverev)but we gotta take it easy.

Up until Medvedev stumbles Djokovic for real the favorite remains the Serbian. One thing is what I want it to win (I really like the Russian’s game, which has more than one Djokovician thing in it although his is its own animal) and anentirely different thing is crowning beforehand.

I’d like the upset for the most simple of reasons. HIS generation really needs a boost when it matters most. It’s good for the sport, even if it ain’t for Djokolites. Like Delpo was good back in 2009, damn his poor luck.

It’s good for the sport to have more than 3 characters because 1) It will make these characters gain perspective of their otherwordly achievements 2) It will make them hungrier than they already are 3) It could make the youngsters think is indeed possible 4) It could reassure a most interesting “passing the torch” dynamic, meaning the tennis fans won’t lose ALL the interest when they retire. They’ll see the up and comers as real heirs and not vacant occupants 4) EVERYONE wins.

Having say this, my mind goes to Novak in 4. If he’s super handy with his finesse with drop shots and weithless slice backhands to the middle of the court, when Medvedev can’t hurt you, won’t risk going to the net and is vulnerable to a subsequent, deep attack,then he will be fine.
My, “gut feeling”, on the other hand… Since this started I feel something’s changing. Let’s see.

Hope is a good match, regardless.


Telperion Says:

I honestly believe that it will be a nail-biting thriller. But Medvedev is just on fire. I sincerely hope that Nole wins,but according to his own words, Medvedev is the player to beat… and it shows.


chofer Says:

I believe that too deep inside. I’m just trying not get too high on it. Just in case…-

Honestly, the only man who has all the tools to disrupt the ultimate disruptor in tennis has not played for nearly two years.

And for all the comparisons with Stefanos, HIS slice is an actual weapon and not the aberration open-stanced floater that the Greek posseses. Mouratoglou may be a master tactician, I don’t know. But I honestly think he’s a charlatan. A dreadful “technician” if you allow me. Just look at what he did to Serena. He made her look horribly 2 dimensional. I’m aware she did not have all the arsenal of a Henin or Hingis, but I’ve never seen her so limited to servebot and unisnpired ball-basher as under Mr. M. And that’s just when she wins!
Apostolos better take matters at hands. Stef’s return of serve is nothing to be prouf of, either.
He’s catnip for Daniil with just those two.


mat4 Says:

@chofer:

I agree about Mouratoglou, who did not make any player better.

And yes, Stefanos has a lot of room to improve technically: not only the slice, but he throws the ball to the left when he serves, because his body is not still in that moment. His FH rotation is not good (he tries to direct his FH), and he does not bend his knees enough for the backhand.

But modern coaches are usually not good at coaching, but rather at selecting. You see that all the top nextgen are tall, strong, big servers. There are no players similar to the big three, with (almost) immaculate technique.


skeezer Says:

I think the definition of a Coach has changed in this game. He/she is more of a cheerleader now.
I agree Mat4, Stefanos could benefit from some tweaking, staring with his serve..


mat4 Says:

@skeezer:

In the last 8 years, since my son started playing tennis, I met one (1!) good coach and just another one who did not think about money first.

The first one worked for years with Novak’s ex-coach, but he was the only one opened to suggestions, new knowledge, ready to discuss technique, problems in teaching, semantics (find the words that children understand), and, unfortunately, he found a job in Vienna, where he earns a lot more.

Tsitsipas’ problems are twofold: he does not listen to his father (which is obvious), and he did not find his Vajda, or Toni.


chofer Says:

@mat4

Completely agree about Stef’s serve. He’s like the Pisa Tower with that toss and without a 12 o’clock toss, his power and location is reduced. Not to mention you start a second later if your impulse is sideways instead of forward.

Can’t believe Mister M. is taking notes and his toss still the same. He must be running out of paper.


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