‘I love USA!’ Daniil Medvedev seals peace with New York crowd as he books spot in US Open final Russia’s Daniil Medvedev booked a spot in the US Open final by beating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets but also completed his reversal from zero to something approaching a hero with the New York crowd by declaring “I love USA.”
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Medvedev, 23, became Russia’s first men’s Grand Slam finalist since 2005, beating Bulgarian Dimitrov 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.
It hands the number five seed a chance at a maiden Grand Slam title – in a summer in which he had already claimed his first Masters title in Cincinnati on the eve of the US Open.
But Medvedev’s run at Flushing Meadows has been far from plain sailing, as he has battled his opponents, injury and also, at times, the New York crowd.
During the third round the Russian was jeered by fans for an incident with a ball boy, later giving them the middle-finger and sarcastically thanking them for giving him “the energy to win” – comments he repeated after the fourth round.
But Medvedev dialed down the bad guy image , and continued to make peace with the New York boo boys after his semi-final victory on Friday.
While Dimitrov was the better-supported man in their semifinal, Medvedev did not endure anything near the hostility of previous rounds, even winning cheers on sealing the match.
The Russian continued to patch things up with the crowd afterwards, saying:
“When I was going to the USA, I didn’t know it would be that good. I have to say I love the USA!”
“If someone told me it wouldn’t be easy because of cramping, or with the crowd, I would have thought I was going home. Finally I’m standing here before playing a final on Sunday and I’m just really happy.
“Just as you guys will be watching [the second semifinal] here, I’ll be watching it with popcorn in front of the TV.”
Medvedev has indeed enjoyed a remarkable summer in North America, which has seen him rise into the world’s top five before the US Open, and which has now earned him a fourth successive appearance in a final.
The man he meets in Sunday’s final is Spanish great Rafael Nadal, who beat Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in straight sets in the second semifinal.
Nadal, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, is bidding to add a fourth US Open title to his trophy cabinet; he will no doubt enjoy stronger support on Sunday, but as Medvedev has shown, he is rather enjoying life Stateside.