The first time Daniil Medvedev made the US Open final, in 2019, he was just happy to be there, having made his deepest run at a grand slam. 

The Russian will enter Sunday's final at Flushing Meadows with a different mindset after breezing past Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 7-5 6-2 in the semi-finals. 

After falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets two years ago in New York and losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final earlier this year, Medvedev is ready for a grand slam title of his own. 

"The more you lose something, the more you want to win it," Medvedev said after his semi-final win Friday. 

"I lost two finals. I want to win the third one. That's tennis, we have two players, only one going to win. You never know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try more than I did the first two times."

Medvedev has rolled through the draw, dropping only one set on the way to the final – the third to Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarter-finals. 

The world number two hopes the fact that he has not faced any marathon matches during his run to the final will help him Sunday. 

"There were some tight moments. There were some tight battles," he said. "Against Botic I won 7-5 in the fourth, which is not that much of a margin.

"It's never easy, but I'm happy that I managed to save a lot of physical abilities, physical power, and mental power.

"For sure, I mean, I don't think anybody is capable of winning a slam after playing, let's say, first three rounds five sets. I doubt this ever happened. So this is important.

"I'm really happy I managed to make it kind of fast."

Friday's match was no different, as Medvedev's only difficulty came when he fell behind 5-2 in the second set. 

But Auger-Aliassime could not finish the job, with Medvedev reeling off five successive games to end the threat before closing out the Canadian with ease in the third. 

"Many times you're going to lose a break against such an opponent as Felix, he had set points on his serve, you're going to lose a set," Medvedev said. "We can never know now how the match would go. Could be completely different story, being one set all, would be the first time for me in the tournament.

"I'm happy I managed to save this game, doing one great point and second one making him play the volley. Then it turned the match around. I think he started doubting.

"For sure it stayed in his mind, this game, so he started missing. I started putting more pressure. The match turned around. That was the key point."

Daniil Medvedev flicked away the threat of Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach his third grand slam final and second US Open title match.

The Russian was briefly in trouble in the second set, when Auger-Aliassime could not serve it out after establishing a 5-2 lead, but he was otherwise in charge as he nailed a 6-4 7-5 6-2 semi-final win.

It means the man who was beaten by Rafael Nadal in a mesmerising 2019 Flushing Meadows final will be back on Sunday to go after a first title at the majors.

World number two Medvedev looked in good shape here, and it was always going to take a major effort for 12th-seeded Canadian Auger-Aliassime to test him.

That test arrived when Auger-Aliassime led by a break in the second set but could not finish the job.

Medvedev soon levelled the set at 5-5 and Auger-Aliassime coughed up an ugly double fault to give him a look at 0-30 in the next game, before fluffing a volley to present the Russian with three game points.

A forehand into the net moved Medvedev into a 6-5 lead, serving for a two-set cushion, and a fuss-free game moved the Moscow-born 25-year-old one step away from the final.

Auger-Aliassime was looking to follow his fellow Canadian Leylah Fernandez into a US Open final this weekend, yet the failure to seize that one big chance was his undoing.

Playing ahead of the second semi-final between calendar Grand Slam-hunting Novak Djokovic and Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, it was plain sailing in the third set for Medvedev.

He struck a startling forehand winner around the net post late in the contest, demonstrating the sort of class to test the best.

Medvedev described the clash as "a strange match", saying in an on-court interview: "I think everybody thought it was going to be one set all, and you never know where the match is going to go.

"I managed to save the set points: he missed one volley and I won one good point, and the match turned around completely. I don't think I played my best today, but I'm really happy to be in the final."

He quite reasonably described his five-set thriller against Nadal two years ago as "a crazy match".

"If it's going to be a crazy match on Sunday, I just hope I can win this time," he added.


DATA SLAM

Medvedev won a terrific 81 per cent of points when landing his first serve in court, which is match-winning tennis and the sort of form he may need in the final. A three-set drubbing by Djokovic in the Australian Open final at the start of this year was an anti-climax given the match promised so much, and Medvedev won just 69 per cent on first serve in that one-sided match. All the ratios looked good for Medvedev in this match, but he will know the final is a step up. He looks destined to win multiple grand slams, but getting the first one is often the toughest.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Medvedev – 37/25
Auger-Aliassime – 17/39

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Medvedev – 12/4
Auger-Aliassime – 4/10

BREAK POINTS WON

Medvedev – 5/5
Auger-Aliassime – 1/3

Second seed Daniil Medvedev refuses to start thinking about a US Open final against Novak Djokovic despite reaching his third straight semi-final at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

Medvedev dropped a set for the first time at this year's US Open but still got through, winning 6-3 6-0 4-6 7-5 over Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old will play the winner of the quarter-final between Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the last four.

Top seed Djokovic, who has won all three majors this year, looms on the other side of the draw, with a quarter-final match-up on Wednesday against sixth seed Matteo Berrettini, while fourth seed Alexander Zverev is still alive.

"I don't think about him [Djokovic], because as we saw, anybody can beat anybody," Medvedev said at his post-match news conference.

"If he's in the final, and if I'm there, I'm happy. He plays on the days where I don't play so I watch his matches just because I enjoy watching tennis.

"I'm not going to root or cheer for somebody. I'm just gonna enjoy the tennis and then prepare for the winner. It's same every match."

Medvedev's victory clinches his spot in the final four at Flushing Meadows for the third straight year, having lost the 2019 final to Rafael Nadal.

"[I'm] really happy to be in the semis again, third time in a row," Medvedev said. "I couldn't dream of it four years ago, but now it's three."

Medvedev will be several years older than his next opponent, with Auger-Aliassime turning 21 last month and Alcaraz is still only 18.

Neither has ever reached a major semi-final either, while Medvedev will be playing in his fourth, having won two of them previously including at this year's Australian Open.

"I always said that experience helps me," Medvedev said. "You never know, because you're gonna play tough opponents, semis or final.

"Who knows? Maybe Novak. But first of course Felix or Carlos. Whoever wins gonna be on huge fire. You know they are much younger than even me.

"But for them it's going to be a first semis of a slam. Experience is not everything, because, for example, when I was in my first semis of a slam, I won it. Doesn't mean if you're there for the first time you're gonna lose it. But I like that I have this experience."

Daniil Medvedev took the first spot in the men's semi-finals at the US Open as he beat qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in four sets on Tuesday.

Second seed Medvedev was two sets up with just over an hour played at Arthur Ashe Stadium, yet was ultimately made to work for a 6-3 6-0 4-6 7-5 triumph.

The Russian, a beaten finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2019 and a semi-finalist last year, broke Van de Zandschulp three times in the opening set, which he took at the fourth time of asking as his Dutch opponent offered up the first sign it would not be an easy day for the favourite.

Medvedev wrapped up a second set bagel with ease, though Van de Zandschulp – who beat in-form world number 11 Casper Ruud en route to the quarters – found some resolve in the third.

Unforced errors from the world number two handed Van de Zandschulp hope and the 25-year-old stuck 91 per cent of his first-serve points to take advantage.

Medvedev's wobble was short lived, however, with his composure regaining as he held his serve in what proved to be the final set.

A match point went begging as Medvedev missed the chance to break, but victory was assured on Van de Zandschulp's next serve, with a drop shot nestling into the net.

Next up for Medvedev is Felix Auger-Aliassime or Carlos Alcaraz, with the latter the youngest men's quarter-finalist at the US Open in the Open Era.

Data Slam: Medvedev's serve too strong

Medvedev won a whopping 83 per cent of his first serve points, converting 54 of 65, and finished with 13 aces. "I'm really happy with my serve in the fourth set, and to get through without a tie-break," he said. Indeed, in the final set, the 25-year-old's first serve percentage was up at 85. 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Van de Zandschulp – 36/35
Medvedev – 36/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Van de Zandschulp – 4/4
Medvedev – 13/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Van de Zandschulp – 2/5
Medvedev – 7/12

Daniil Medvedev said "it's tough to beat me" as the confident and in-form world number two took another step towards his maiden grand slam crown at the US Open.

Medvedev advanced to the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory over 24th seed Dan Evans in New York on Sunday.

US Open finalist in 2019 and Australian Open runner-up this year, Russian star Medvedev is yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows this week.

As Dutch qualifier Botic Van De Zandschulp awaits, Medvedev discussed expectations at the US Open in pursuit of his first major title.

"I always say I take it match by match," Medvedev told reporters after hitting 42 winners in one hour, 43 minutes. "You can lose first round, you can lose final. If I play good, I know what I'm capable of. It's tough to beat me.

"In Wimbledon, I was honest, I lost against a great player, Hubert is playing great. I think he's on the rise. He's going to be even better ranked and maybe he's gonna go further in slams. He beat Roger [Federer] after me.

"But again, I was not talking about match itself where the loss was okay, I would say. I was talking about the result in general, and fourth round is not enough for number two in the world, especially I like grass more than clay, so maybe on clay I would not say this.

"Yeah, it's the same every tournament. If you're top seed, if you are not in the final, let's say Cincinnati, I lost against Rublev, brutal match, really strong play from him. But if you talk about the result itself, semi-final was not good enough.

"There is not much to add. I want to win every tournament I play in, without putting pressure on myself. Because again, I know how to win matches, and I know sometimes why I lose them, so that's just learning and being better for the next time."

Medvedev is 31-5 on hard courts in 2021 and 162-61 in his career, while he has won 11 of his 12 ATP titles on hard courts.

The 25-year-old owns a 17-4 record (80.95 per cent) at the US Open – his most wins and highest win percentage at a grand slam event.

"Feeling great before the second week," Medvedev said. "Feeling great with my tennis, my mental, my physical. Just looking forward."

Medvedev, who lost a thrilling US Open final to Rafael Nadal two years ago, added: "Now I just want to make it to the finals again to have another thing to remember and hopefully a better one."

Men's tennis would be a safe environment for any gay player ready to announce their sexuality, three of the brightest young talents in the game have said.

Speaking on the US Open's first Pride Day, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassime said players should not fear coming out.

A number of the best-known women's players of all time have been lesbian, including Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Amelie Mauresmo.

However, there have been few modern-era 'out' gay stars on the men's ATP Tour, with Navratilova having said in the past that those that exist have been "so far in the closet I don't know who they are".

Russian world number two Medvedev said: "From my side, I think everybody would be super open if somebody would come out on the ATP Tour.

"The other question is: are there any gays on the ATP Tour? Again, until somebody comes out, you cannot know unless you're his best friend and you know what he goes through.

"I think it's great from the US Open, this initiative. I think the ATP honestly is doing a good job, also especially internally trying to provide info and to just make sure that if anybody wants to come out, he's gonna feel safe and secure.

"All the players would be happy for the guy if he does it."

 

Canadian rising star Auger-Aliassime, who like Medvedev and Tsitsipas has reached round three at Flushing Meadows, explained it was important for the tour to let players be themselves.

On the women's tour, Belgian players Alison van Uytvanck and Greet Minnen are engaged, while there are a number of other players from the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) community.

But the men's tour in recent years has seen no such prominently out players, which world number 15 Auger-Aliassime finds surprising, given the high number of professionals.

"Recently I've started doing a survey inside the ATP about the LGBTQ+ community," Auger-Aliassime said.

"It's important these days to be aware of that and to be open-minded and the ATP needs to do that, in today's time it's needed.

"The reason we don't have openly gay players on the ATP Tour, I'm not sure of the reason, but I feel me, as a player, it would be very open, very welcome. Statistically there should be some, but for now there's not."

Tsitsipas was asked whether the tour would be a "safe space" now, for any player considering coming out.

"I think so. They would be supported, for sure," said the Greek world number three, speaking on Wednesday's Pride Day in New York.

"I don't know how it is in other sports. I see no reason, for example, a tour like the ATP not to accept something like this."

Andrey Rublev finally got the better of compatriot Daniil Medvedev after a flashpoint involving a courtside camera in the Western and Southern Open semi-finals.

Rublev will now face Alexander Zverev in the decider, having ended Medvedev's bid for a Toronto-Cincinnati double.

Medvedev had never even dropped a set to his fellow Russian in four prior ATP Tour meetings and appeared to be on course for another dominant victory when he took the first set.

But the world number two clattered into a camera early in the second and all momentum was soon lost.

Medvedev complained about the positioning of the camera, claiming it had caused a hand injury and aiming a kick at the lens.

He swiftly called for treatment as his performance started to fall well below his lofty standards, with Rublev finally able to win a set after breaking in an epic 15-minute game.

A series of unforced Medvedev errors allowed Rublev to break again in the decider and seal a stunning 2-6 6-3 6-3 triumph.

Third seed Zverev fought back from a double break down in the final set to progress to the final with a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-4) win over second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The epic match lasted two hours and 41 minutes, with Zverev responding strongly after appearing unwell to book his spot in the final against Rublev.

Rublev gets his Daniil degree

Asked to reflect on finally toppling Medvedev, Rublev told Amazon: "It's always tough to play against Daniil and to beat him.

"I think it gives me a bit more confidence that I can play against him, I can compete against him. There are still so many things to improve, but it's like I've passed university."

The victory came as a relief, with Rublev believing he was unfortunate even to be trailing in the first set.

"Inside I was thinking, when I was 6-2, the score shouldn't be like this," he said.

"The points were really tight, some little outs, little mistakes, some good shots from Daniil. The score was not real [in] the first set.

"Even the third set, I won 6-3 but the match was so intense. You saw so many rallies, so many long rallies, and it was so tough.

"It was a super mental match, a super physical match, exactly like a chess match."

Zverev's Novak mentality

Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Zverev had trailed 4-1 in the third set against Tsitsipas, but fought back with two breaks before winning in a tie-break.

"After I did the first break back I thought 'OK I have the chances'," Zverev said during his on-court interview. "I felt like he was not serving bombs. I felt like I was always in the rallies but I was losing the rallies because I was a bit low energy, so I started being a bit more aggressive, a bit of the Novak mentality that I had against him at the Olympics as well."

Zverev has a 4-0 record against final opponent Rublev but he was wary of his opponent.

"Favourite or not, I think if you're in the final, there's no easy opponent," he said. "Today he played incredible beating Medvedev."

Nick Kyrgios, John Isner and Reilly Opelka have been named by Team World captain John McEnroe as his final three picks for the Laver Cup.

The trio join Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman for the team event which runs from September 24-26 at TD Garden in Boston.

Laver Cup newcomer Opelka rose to a career-high world number 23 ranking en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Toronto and defeated world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will play for Bjorn Borg's Team Europe.

Isner, who has featured for Team World since the inaugural event in 2017, reached the semi-finals in Toronto and claimed his 16th ATP Tour title in Atlanta at the start of August.

He described the Laver Cup as "a highlight of my year", adding: "To be on a team with guys we're normally competing against is so different and so much fun. We come together so well as a group, the chemistry is awesome and it's such a great environment to be part of."

Australian firebrand Kyrgios is a striking inclusion in Team World's roster, while Team Europe will be without their big three: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Federer and Dominic Thiem were expected to take part in this year's event, though both were forced to withdraw with injuries.

However, Borg's men still boast six of the world's top 11. World number two Daniil Medvedev leads the line-up, with Tsitsipas and Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Alexander Zverev for company.

Casper Ruud, who collected a 14th win in his last 15 completed matches on tour when he beat Opelka on Wednesday, will feature, while Andrey Rublev and Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini complete the six-man team.

Team Europe have landed the title in each of the three editions of the tournament so far, with Prague, Chicago and Geneva having served as hosts.

Daniil Medvedev lived up to his top-seed billing by overcoming Reilly Opelka in straight sets in the National Bank Open final.

World number two Medvedev prevailed 6-4 6-3 in Toronto on Sunday as he became the first Russian to win the ATP tournament since Marat Safin in 2000.

Medvedev now holds four of the nine ATP Masters 1000 titles, having also previously come out on top in Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris.

He saved all four break points faced against unseeded Opelka, who stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals, and needed just 85 minutes to complete the job.

Reflecting on his latest tour triumph, Medvedev said: "I could not have dreamt of this at one point.

"With Novak [Djokovic] and Rafael [Nadal] playing, it seemed like an untouchable achievement. Now I have four wins in five finals, which is a good score. I am just happy. 

"Playing Canada and Cincinnati, the goal is to win as many matches as possible. I was able to do it two years ago and I will try and do it again."

Opelka was competing in his maiden final at this level and started strongly, racing 40-0 ahead in the fourth game with some powerful hitting.

However, the 23-year-old – the first American to reach the final since Mardy Fish in 2011 – could not break his opponent as Medvedev recovered with some impressive serving to take the game.

Medvedev earned the first break in the following game and comfortably held to take the first set.

The Russian forced Opelka into errors in the second set and reeled off nine points in a row en route to breaking his opponent in the third game.

It was plain sailing from that point on as two-time beaten grand slam finalist Medvedev eased over the line to add another trophy to his collection.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev will face Reilly Opelka in the National Bank Open final after the American stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas in a three-set classic in Saturday's semi-finals.

World number 32 Opelka fought back from a set down in Toronto to knock out favoured third seed Tsitsipas in two hours and 32 minutes.

The 23-year-old American triumphed 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4, booking a spot in his first ATP Masters 1000 final.

Opelka sent down 17 aces but also hit 27 groundstroke winners in the shock victory over 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist Tsitsipas who had beaten in-form Casper Ruud in the quarters.

"I played great," Opelka said in his on-court interview. “These courts suit my game, it is no coincidence that John Isner is in the other semi-final.

"Stefanos has definitely improved his returning. Come 5-5 in the first set, a lot of balls started to come back. He is a thinker and has a high tennis IQ, so it was expected, but that is what separates him from the rest of the pack."

Opelka was aided by an excellent first serve percentage of 72 per cent, winning 62 of 81 points when he made his first serve.

Both first two sets went to tiebreaks, with Tsitsipas failing to generate a break point until the third set. Opelka made the first break of the match in the seventh game of the third set and held serve twice after to seal victory.

World number two Medvedev cruised into the decider with a commanding win over John Isner in less than an hour.

Medvedev, who was runner-up in Toronto in 2019, won 6-2 6-2 over the big-serving American, with the match totaling 54 minutes.

Isner could only manage four trademark aces for the match, while the Russian had 11 and broke the American four times from seven opportunities.

Daniil Medvedev avenged a Wimbledon loss to Hubert Hurkacz in a three-set thriller while Stefanos Tsitsipas made impressively light work of the in-form Casper Ruud at the National Bank Open.

Top seed and world number two Medvedev appeared headed for another defeat to Hurkacz before fighting back to prevail 2-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) and reach the semi-finals.

The Pole won a five-setter at Wimbledon in the pair's only previous meeting before going on to stun Roger Federer and reach the semis, but could not repeat his feat in Toronto. 

Though Medvedev failed to convert the only two break point opportunities he had, his work in the tiebreaks was enough to put him over the top as he served 23 aces to nine for Hurkacz. 

The Russian now faces a semi-final matchup against John Isner, who won a clash of veterans with 11th seed Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Earlier Friday, Tsitsipas claimed a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ruud, who entered the clash having won each of his previous 13 matches. 

It was Tsitsipas' 45th win of the season, a figure unmatched by anyone else on the ATP tour, and he needed just 74 minutes to complete it.

The 23-year-old won each of the first five games of the match and only made four unforced errors in the opening set.

Although Norway's Ruud improved in the second, he failed to make the most of a rare break opportunity and that seemed to jolt Tsitsipas into life again, the Greek swiftly breaking and then serving out the match.

"It is very nice to see myself perform at this level," Tsitsipas said afterwards. "I was sticking close to the baseline and coming in, taking the ball early. It was my intention from the very beginning, and it worked perfectly.

"Playing against a guy like him, who gets every single ball back, is always very challenging. There is some sort of concentration levels you have to reach to perform to your best. These kinds of matches always teach me things that I can expose for next time."

Up next for Tsitsipas as he targets a place in the final is Reilly Opelka, the big-serving American who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 7-6 (7-1), plundering 18 aces along the way.

Casper Ruud continued his excellent winning streak while Stefanos Tsitsipas made it a birthday to remember at the National Bank Open in Toronto.

Tsitsipas turned 23 on Thursday and marked the occasion with a 6-3 6-2 win over Karen Khachanov.

The Greek star was presented with a cake by tournament officials after his win, as the crowd serenaded him with a chant of 'happy birthday'.

It marks a significant improvement on when Tsitsipas turned 20. On that occasion, he lost the 2018 final of this event to Rafael Nadal.

Next up for Tsitsipas is Casper Ruud, who poked fun at his critics after he eased into the quarter-finals.

Ruud, the world number 12, won three titles on clay courts in July and has now continued that form in the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Playing on a hard court has proved no challenge for the in-form Norwegian, who wrote 'Hard Courts' with a smile underneath on the camera after his 6-4 6-3 victory over Dusan Lajovic on Thursday.

"I have seen a lot of people questioning my ability to play on hard court, so I just thought it was funny to write a little note," Ruud said in a news conference.

"I think it's fun to play on hard courts. Even though I (have achieved) most of my best results on clay, my best slam result is from this year’s Australian Open (where he reached the Round of 16), so I think it's a surface that also can suit my game well even though this year has been mainly clay.

“I think I'm motivated to come back to the hard courts. I have had two very good matches here. It's a great start for me to the hard-court swing."

Ruud, in the hunt for his fifth title of 2021, has won the only previous meeting between the duo.

"[I am] looking forward to that battle," Tsitsipas said. "We have played each other in the past. Not an easy guy to play against. Looking for a change, looking for a switch-up this time."

However, there was no place in the last eight for world number seven - and Olympic gold medallist - Andrey Rublev, who went down 7-5 7-6 (7-5) to American John Isner.

Fresh from a triumph in Atlanta, 36-year-old Isner has looked sharp all week and has now won eight successive matches.

It brings up a third quarter-final appearance for the world number 30 in Canada, and he will play French 11th seed Gael Monfils after he got past lucky loser Francis Tiafoe 6-1 7-6 (7-2). Monfils will be competing in his first ATP Tour quarter-final in 18 months.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev proved too good for Australian qualifier James Duckworth, winning 6-2 6-4 in one hour and eight minutes.

Medvedev was in ominous form on the hard court, sending down 10-1 aces and winning 27 of 32 points on his first serve.

The Russian world number two will play seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz who fought back to win 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-4 over Nicolas Basilashvili.

Eighth seed Diego Schwartzman lost in three sets to 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut after the Spaniard saved three match points.

Bautista Agut will next play Reilly Opelka who came from behind, and also saved a match point, to win over Lloyd Harris in three.

Page 3 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.