Cincinnati | Medvedev aims for third consecutive final
Daniil Medvedev progressed into the semi-finals of Cincinnati to make his third last four Master 1000 appearance this year after Monte Carlo and Montreal in what was his 12th victory in his last 14 matches. The two losses coming in finals.
Novak is Novak. There is actually nothing to say about him. Just huge respect Daniil Medvedev
In want is proving an excellent run of results he has yet to claim a big one as the dominant players of the last decade continue to reign at the top.
Medvedev dispatched his Russian countryman, Andre Rublev, the man who eliminated one of those dominant players, Roger Federer, in the previous round, 6-2 6-3, in just 61-minutes.
His reward is facing the top seed and world No.1 Novak Djokovic who had a troublesome first set before claiming his place in the last four with a 7-6(2) 6-1 victory over Lucas Pouille.
Commenting on his forthcoming test, Medvedev said “Novak is Novak. There is actually nothing to say about him. Just huge respect.”
Medvedev completed his win 15 winners and 11 unforced errors which as sufficient to stem Rublev’s challenge despite scoring one more winner. In the unforced errors department, he made 26 recording 20 more than when beating Federer the day before.
It was an intriguing match-up as the two were close when it came to the shorter rallies, with Medvedev gaining the upper hand when they were extended.
Meanwhile Djokovic won a much tighter match eventually gaining control of the quarter-final in the tie-break, breaking Pouille in the second set to cruise through to his allotted semi-final place with his 10th straight win and as defending champion, 9th consecutive at Cincinnati.
“I thought he played really well throughout the first set. We both held our service games quite comfortably until the tie-break and then I just stayed in there, very focused, didn’t drop my level. He did,” Djokovic said describing the action. “[He] double faulted and missed a couple of forehands and obviously that cost him the tiebreak.”
The only niggle for the Serbian was a twinge in in his right elbow which required some treatment when he was lading 4-1 in the second set. However, it didn’t halt his run to the finishing line.
In the bottom half, Richard Gasquet continued his comeback easing past the 11th seeded and in-form Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(2) 3-6 6-2.
“I know how tough it was to come back,” said Gasquet who had some surgery on his groin at the start of the year. “Of course, it’s not easy to come back after six months out, but I’m here. I’m in semis tomorrow.”
Gasquet will now face David Goffin who didn’t have to hit a ball to progress back into the semi-finals for a second time after qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka, conqueror of Kei Nishikori, reported ill and was forced to grant him a walkover.
Looking ahead to their meeting, Gasquet said: “It will be tough. He’s a great player. He’s playing very fast. I need to recover now a little bit to be ready for tomorrow, because, as I said, he doesn’t miss. He’s playing fast, especially with the backhand. It will be a tough battle for me. It’s the semis. I have nothing to lose, so I try my best.”